Viola adunca (Sand Violet)
|Also known as:||Hooked-spur Violet, Western Dog Violet, Early Blue Violet|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry to moist, sandy soil; open woods, meadows|
|Bloom season:||April - June|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FAC NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Irregular blue-violet flower about ½ long at the end of a slender stalk arising from a leaf axil. The 2 lateral petals have small tufts of white hairs at the base (bearded). The lower petal is white at the base with dark purple veins radiating from the center, and forms a long spur at the back. The spur is mostly straight but may curve upward or slightly downward. There are typically 1 to 3 flowers at the top of a stem, rising above the leaves.
Leaves and stems:
There are both stem and basal leaves. Basal and lower leaves are up to 2 inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, slightly heart-shaped to nearly round but generally longer than wide with a rounded tip, long stalked, the base of the stalk extending down the stem. Stem leaves are generally smaller and less rounded at the tip end. Leaves are scalloped around the edges and mostly hairless, not always completely unfolded at flowering time. Stems are mostly hairless, with multiple leafy stems arising from the base.
Sand Violet is similar to Dog Violet (Viola conspersa/V. labradorica), which has paler flowers, light green leaves that are more consistently round, less leafy stems, and has a preference for moister, less sandy soil.
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Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at Vermillion Falls, Dakota County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?