Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Viola trinervata
desert pansy, 3-nerved violet, sagebrush violet

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; north-central Washington to southeastern Oregon.

Habitat: Sagebrush flats and rocky hillsides, often on lithosol, where vernally moist.

Flowers: March-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, somewhat glaucous perennial from short, thick, very deep-seated rhizomes, the stems several, naked below, 5-15 cm. tall.


Leaf blades palmately lobed or compound, the main segments once or twice dissected, the ultimate segments narrowly elliptic, 1.5-4 cm. long; leaves leathery, prominently 3-nerved on the lower surface; petioles longer than the blades.


Peduncles exceeding the leaves; flowers about 1.5 cm. long, usually bicolored, the upper pair deep reddish-violet, the lower 3 pale to deep lilac, with yellowish or whitish base and purple penciling, occasionally all white or all deep purple; style head hairy.


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

Accepted Name:
Viola trinervata (Howell) Howell ex A. Gray
Publication: Bot. Gaz. 11(11): 290. 1886.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Viola trinervata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Viola trinervata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Viola trinervata photos.

USDA Plants: Viola trinervata information.

75 photographs:
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