Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Viola canadensis
Canadian violet, rugose violet

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to Oregon, east to the Rocky Mountains, further east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Forest openings, riparian zones, and thickets from low to middle elevations.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous to puberulent perennial from short, thick rhizomes, with slender stolons, 1-4 dm. tall.


Leaf blades large, cordate and pointed, the petioles up to 3 dm. long; stipules lanceolate, entire, 1-2 cm. long.


Flowers from the upper portion of the stem, the peduncles shorter than the leaves, the spur short; sepals lanceolate, hairy; petals 1.5 cm. long, white with a yellow base, the 3 lower ones with purple penciling, all purplish tinged on the back; style head sparsely bearded.


Fruit a 3-valved capsule, ovary superior, placentation parietal, the seeds brownish.

Accepted Name:
Viola canadensis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 936. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. rugulosa – rugose violet   Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to southeastern WA and northeastern Oregon, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, and Great Lakes region.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Viola canadensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Viola canadensis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Viola canadensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Viola canadensis photos.

USDA Plants: Viola canadensis information.

15 photographs:
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