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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 933. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: M. QAISER & SAOOD OMER
General/Distribution: A cosmopolitan genus of c. 400 species, represented in Pakistan by 17 taxa including one cultivated species; distributed mostly in the Northern and alpine areas of Pakistan, few are confined to the lower hills and plains.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Excluded species

Viola oblonga Blatter in J. Ind. Bot. 9:200. 1930.

This taxon has been described from Razmak (Blatter 2332) and known only from type gathering. It is said to differ from Viola canina by the very long stipules, which are not fimbriate, serrate, sepals ovate-lanceolate, subacute with short appendages and petals much longer than the spur. We have not seen any authentic specimen of this taxon.

Viola suavis Beib., Fl. Taur. - Cauc. 3:164. 1819.

Viola pontica W. Becker, Beih. Bot. Centrabl. 36(2): 18. 1918.

This taxon is said to be near Viola odorata L. and Viola sepincola Jord. According to E.E. Todd (in J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 55: 223. 1930) it is found in Kashmir but we have not seen any authentic specimen of this species, but the records may be based upon misidentifications of Viola odorata.


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Annual to perennial herbs; rhizome present or absent; stern mostly present. Leaves ovate-triangular or reniform, cordate, serrate, crenate, stalked, sometimes winged. Stipules lanceolate-ovate, entire, dentate or fimbriate. Flowers zygomorphic, peduncle bracteolate, bracteoles 2, oppoiste or subopposite. Sepals 5, persistent. Petals 5, lateral larger than others, forming a spur. Anthers connate, encircling the ovary, filaments short, broad and distinct, the two lateral end up in the corolla spur. Ovary sessile; style mostly curved at base, thickened or attenuate above; stigma lobed, straight or beaked. Fruit a 3-valved capsule, dehiscing loculicidally. Seeds rounded-ovate, smooth, shiny.

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1 Leaves, stipules and fruits covered with reddish brown or dark brown glands (2)
+ Leaves, stipules and fruits not covered with glands (4)
2 (1) Stipules up to 5 mm broad, not foliaceous, fimbriate (3)
+ Stipules 1.5-2 cm broad, foliaceous, dentate 7 Viola falconeri
3 (2) Leaves, petiole, peduncle and capsule glabrous. Flowers up to 2 cm 9 Viola reichenbachiana
+ Leaves, petiole, peduncle and capsule subglabrous. Flowers up to 1.5 cm 8 Viola rupestris
4 (1) Stipules adnate to the petiole (5)
+ Stipules free, not adnate to the petiole (8)
5 (4) Flowers violet, blue, purple or mixtures of these, but never yellow. Rhizome absent or poorly developed (6)
+ Flowers yellow. Rhizome well-developed 11 Viola turkestanica
6 (5) Stipules fimbriate. Petals 8-15 x 2.5-6.0 mm. Spur (2-) 3-7 mm long. Stigma unbeaked or beak pointing forward (7)
+ Stipules dentate. Petals 5-6 x 2-3 mm. Spur 1-1.5 mm long. Stigma beak pointing downward 10 Viola kunawurensis
7 (6) Leaves and petioles completely glabrous. Sepals ± obtuse 15 Viola macroceras
+ Leaves atleast pubescent on the lower side. Sepals acute to acuminate 14 Viola kashmiriana
8 (4) Spur 1-2 mm long. Leaves spathulate (9)
+ Spur 4-8 mm long. Leaves ovate-cordate or reniform (rarely spathulate in Viola tricolor) (11)
9 (8) Leaves, capsule, stern & calyx pubescent. Stigma beaked (10)
+ Leaves, stem & capsule glabrous. Stigma not beaked 6 Viola stocksii
10 (9) Plants ashy grey; perennial. Stipules acuminate; sepals acute 4 Viola cinerea
+ Plants green; annual. Stipules acute; sepals aristate 5 Viola makranica
11 (8) Stipules not foliaceous. Flowers usually of one colour (12)
+ Stipules foliaceous. Flowers usually multicoloured 17 Viola tricolor
12 (11) Plants provided with stoloniferous stem, rooting at nodes (13)
+ Plants not provided with stoloniferous stem (15)
13 (12) Stigma beaked. Ovary glabrous (14)
+ Stigma club shaped. Ovary hairy 2 Viola canescens
14 (13) Leaves obtuse. Sepals ovate, obtuse, entire 1 Viola odorata
+ Leaves acuminate. Sepals lanceolate, acute, ciliate-dentate 3 Viola pilosa
15 (12) Stigma 2-lobed or beaked. Stern present; leaves cordate (16)
+ Stigma 3-lobed; stem absent; leaves truncate 16 Viola betonicifolia
16 (15) Stipules ovate or oblong, entire. Flowers yellow. Lateral petals not bearded 12 Viola biflora
+ Stipules lanceolate, ± fimbriate. Flowers purplish blue-violet but never yellow. Literal petals bearded 13 Viola fedtschenkoana
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