American dog violet

(Viola labradorica)

Conservation Status
American dog violet
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative


American dog violet is a ½ to 8 tall, erect to drooping, perennial forb that rises on several clustered stems from an oblique, occasionally branched rhizome. It forms clumps.

The stems are erect to drooping, leafy, and usually hairy. Leaves and flowers appear on the same stem.

Basal leaves are large and on long stalks. They are thin, pale green, hairless, and kidney-shaped to roundish. They are rounded or blunt at the tip and heart-shaped at the base. The basal lobes are widely open, not overlapping. The margins have rounded teeth. Stem leaves are similar, smaller, alternate, round, to 1½ wide, broadly-angled at the tip, and heart-shaped at the base.

The inflorescence is numerous single flowers on slender, 2 to 3 long stalks rising from the leaf axils. The long-stalked flowers are held above the leaves. There are small, broadly lance-shaped, stipules at the base of the flower stalks. The stipules are bristly for more than half of their length.

The flowers are ½ to ¾ wide. There are 5 petals in an arrangement typical of violets—two upper, two lateral, and a broad lower lip. The petals are light blue to pale violet, rarely white. The lateral and lower petals are pale or whitish with dark veins near the center. The lower petal has a to 3 16 long spur at the base that curls upward behind the flower. The lateral petals have tufts of white hair near the center (bearded). The plant produces flowers when it is only ½ in height.

The fruit is an elliptical, to 3 16 long capsule with light brown seeds. When the plant is in fruit the stipules are dry and translucent.




½ to 8


Flower Color


Light blue to pale violet


Similar Species


Long-spurred violet (Viola rostrata) has a longer spur, ¼ to ½ long. The lateral petals are not bearded.

Great-spurred violet (Viola selkirkii) leaves and flowers rise from the ground on separate stalks. The basal lobes of the leaves are narrowly open, sometimes overlapping. The spur is rounded, blunt and tends to be larger, to ¼ long. The lateral petals are not bearded.


Dry to moderate moisture. Woods, meadows. Full sun to shade.




June to August




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Malpighiales (nances, willows, and allies)  


Violaceae (violet)  
  Subfamily Violoideae  
  Tribe Violeae  
  Genus Viola (violet)  



Viola adunca var. minor

Viola conspersa


Common Names


alpine violet

American dog violet

dog violet

early blue violet

Labrador violet












The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.



Bearing one or more tufts of hairs.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



A small, leaf-like appendage at the base of a leaf stalk or flower stalk.

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  American dog violet   American dog violet


  American dog violet   American dog violet
  American dog violet    


  American dog violet   American dog violet



  Alpine Violet (American Dog Violet) (Viola labradorica)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Alpine Violet (American Dog Violet) (Viola labradorica)  



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Other Videos
  Viola labradorica
wander van laar

Published on Mar 30, 2014

No description available.




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