Viola riviniana

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Viola riviniana
Viola riviniana-01 (xndr).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. riviniana
Binomial name
Viola riviniana

Viola riviniana, the common dog-violet, is a species of the genus Viola native to Eurasia and Africa.[1] It is also called wood violet[1] and dog violet.[1] It is a perennial herb of woodland edges, grassland and shady hedge banks. It is found in all soils except acid or very wet.

It is a perennial, flowering from April to June.[dubious ]

Viola riviniana was voted the county flower of Lincolnshire in 2002, following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.[2]


Its leaves are usually hairless.

Wildlife value[edit]

It is the food plant of the pearl bordered fritillary, small pearl-bordered fritillary, silver-washed fritillary and high brown fritillary butterflies.

Similar species[edit]

  • sweet violet (Viola odorata) - fragrant; all the leaves are located at the base of the plant; stipules are gland-tipped.
  • heath dog violet (Viola canina) - clear blue flowers; narrower leaves; smaller teeth on the stipules.
  • marsh violet (Viola palustris) - found in wet places; leaves are kidney-shaped; grows from underground creeping stems; dark-veined flowers; stipules without teeth.
  • alpine violet (Viola labradorica) - V. riviniana is sometimes sold by nurseries as V. labradorica.


This species hybridises with early dog-violet (V. reichenbachiana) to produce Viola × bavarica.

Further reading[edit]

  • Partridge, James (2007) Viola × bavarica: the punctual Dog-violet BSBI News 106:8-9 (illustrated with colour photographs on inside back cover of this edition)


  1. ^ a b c "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  2. ^ Plantlife website County Flowers page

External links[edit]

Media related to Viola riviniana at Wikimedia Commons