kidney-leaved violet

(Viola renifolia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

kidney-leaved violet

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Cool or damp. Cedar swamps, woods, conifer thickets.

Flowering

May to July

     
Flower Color

White with yellow centers

     
Height

2 to 4

     
 
Identification

This is a 2 to 4 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from an elongated, vertical rhizome. Unlike similar species, it does not produce above-ground creeping runners (stolons), or below-ground horizontal rhizomes.

There is no central stem. The leaves are all basal, rising from the rootstock on 1 to 6 long leaf stalks (petioles). At the base of each petiole is a pair of leaf-like appendages (stipules). The stipules are to long, lance-shaped, and toothed. The leaf blades are kidney-shaped, rounded or blunt at the tip and heart-shaped at the base. They are ¾ to 2 long and wide. The upper and lower surfaces may be hairy or hairless. Sometimes just the lower surface is hairy. The margins have rounded teeth.

The inflorescence is one or more solitary flowers at the end of slender, leafless stalks rising from the rootstock. The flower stalks are usually shorter than the leaves.

The flowers are to long. There are 5 white petals in an arrangement typical of violets, two upper, two lateral, and a broad lower lip. The lateral and lower petals have dark purple veins near the center. The lower petal has a short, rounded spur at the base. Either all of the petals have tufts of white hair near the center (bearded), or all do not.

The fruit is an elliptical, purplish, to 3 16 long capsule with brown seeds.

 
Similar
Species

Canadian white violet (Viola canadensis var. rugulosa) is a larger plant, up to 16 tall. It produces stolons. Flowers rise from the leaf axils of a leafy stem. The flowers are much larger, up to 1½ wide. The petals are yellow near the center. The lateral petals are bearded, the upper and lower petals are not. The back side of at least the upper petals are purplish.

Smooth white violet (Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens) rises from a creeping, horizontal rhizome. It produces stolons. The leaves are heart-shaped or kidney-shaped at the base. The fruit capsule is green.

Sweet white violet (Viola blanda var. blanda) rises from a creeping, horizontal rhizome. It produces stolons. The leaves are heart-shaped at the base. The upper petals are twisted and bent backward. The lateral petals are pushed forward.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 5, 7.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Violaceae (violet)

 

Subfamily:

Violoideae

 

Tribe:

Violeae

 
Synonyms

Viola renifolia var. brainerdii

 
Common
Names

kidney-leaf white violet

kidney-leaved violet

kidney-leaved white violet

kidney-leaf white violet

northern white violet

white violet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Bearded

Bearing one or more tufts of hairs.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

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

 

Stipule

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

 

Stolon

An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

       
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