Viola palmata L.

Palmate-leaved Violet

Habitat: Rich woods and clearings that are well drained.

Range: Maine, south to Florida, west to Texas, north to Minnesota and Ontario.

Aids to Identification: The leaves of this small violet are essentially all deeply divided into 5-11 uniformly narrow loves or segments. The base of the blade is subtruncate. When fruiting, the seeds are plump and 2 mm long and the caruncle is not prolonged. The flowers are deep to pale violet and are typically 2-3 cm wide. Cleistogamous flowers on prostrate to erect peduncles. The flowers are about equal to or somewhat surpass the early leaves but are often surpassed by the later leaves.

Ecological characteristics: Known to hybridize with V. affinis, V. brittoniana, V. cucullata, V. sagittata, and V. sororia.

Phenology: Flowers April - May.

Family: Violaceae

Synonyms: Viola palmata L. var. dilitata Ell.; Viola triloba Schwein.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Cumberland.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: None noted.