birdfoot violet

(Viola pedata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

birdfoot violet

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

UPL - Obligate upland

Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Dry. Woods, prairies. Full to partial sun.

 
Flowering

April to June

 
Flower Color

Lilac purple

 
Height

3 to 6

 

Identification

This is a 3 to 6 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from an erect, tuberous caudex and fibrous roots.

The leaves are all basal, rising from the rootstock on hairless leaf stalks. Outer leaves are on stalks up to 1 long, inner leaves on stalks up to 2 long. Outer leaves are about ¾ wide, long, and palmately divided into 3 deeply cut segments. The lateral segments are again divided into 3 to 5 narrowly inversely egg-shaped or inversely lance-shaped lobes. The lobes may have 2 to 4 deeply cut teeth near the tip. Inner leaves are about 1½ wide, 1 long, and palmately divided into 3 or 5 deeply cut segments. The segments may be again divided into 3 to 7 secondary lobes. The lobes are linear or inversely lance-shaped. Both types of leaves are hairless or nearly hairless. The margins have a fringe of minute, stiff, appressed hairs.

There is no central stem.

The inflorescence is a single flower at the end of a hairless, leafless, often purplish stalk. The stalk is at least as long as the leaf stalks and may be up to 4 long.

The flowers are ¾ to 1½ wide. The 5 petals are usually lilac purple, though the upper 2 petals are sometimes dark violet. The 2 lateral petals do not have tufts of hairs near the throat. The lower petal fades to white with purple veins near the throat, and has a hooked, rounded spur at the base. The 5 stamens are orange, conspicuously protruding, and converging, but not fused, around the ovary. Self-polinating (cleistogamous) flowers are not produced.

The fruit is a ¼ to long, hairless, yellowish-brown capsule.

 
Similar
Species

This species is easily identified by the deeply lobed leaves, unbearded lateral petals, and conspicuous, protruding, orange stamens.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Violaceae (violet)

 

Subfamily:

Violoideae

 

Tribe:

Violeae

 
Synonyms

Viola pedata var. concolor

Viola pedata var. lineariloba

Viola pedata var. ranunculifolia

 
Common
Names

beardless birdfoot violet

birdfoot violet


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bearded

Bearing one or more tufts of hairs.

 

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Cleistogamous

Automatically self-pollinating. Refers to bud-like flowers that do not open but automatically self-pollinate, or to plants with such flowers.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

       

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Plant

  birdfoot violet   birdfoot violet
       
  birdfoot violet   birdfoot violet
       

Flower

  birdfoot violet   birdfoot violet
       
  birdfoot violet   birdfoot violet
       

Leaves

  birdfoot violet   birdfoot violet
       
       

 

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  Native bee on Viola pedata
Retha Meier
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 23, 2014

This video was recorded at our research site at Cuivre River State Park, just outside of Troy, Missouri. Andrena carlini, the most common visitor to our Cuivre River population, inverts its body to forage on Viola pedata. The occurrence of the two color morphs of V. pedata is approximately 50/50 at this site.

 
     
  Viola pedata bicolor with bee
Retha Meier
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Note how the native bee positions itself on the Viola pedata.

 
     

 

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