First overview block: Viola adunca, Violaceae, Early blue violet, Blue violet, Western dog violet
Perennial from short to long, slender rhizomes. Usually stemless in the early part of the season, later developing aerial stems up to 10 cm tall. Starts to flower early in the growing season. Leaves generally oval to heart-shaped, hairy to hairless, blades to 3 cm long with fine round-toothed margins. Stipules reddish-brown or with reddish-brown flecks, narrowly lance-shaped margins slender-toothed or somewhat ragged. Flowers to 1.5 cm long, with a slender spur half as long as the lowest petal, petals blue to deep violet, the lower three often white at base and purple-pencilled, the lateral pair white-bearded. Fruits small capsules opening explosively by three valves (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Dry to moist meadows, open woods, grasslands and open, disturbed ground from lowlands to near timberline (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Wildlife: Key food species for the larvae of the silverspot butterfly.
Landscaping: Native violets "can produce the right substitute with a restrained beauty" to exotics such as pansies. Viola adunca grows in such a range of habitats that many natural variants occur. "This is an easy, dependable and lovely plant for rather dry, open woods or lower reaches of the rockery in sun or partial shade (Krukeberg, 1996).
Cold moist stratification improves germination. To stratify outdoors, sow in container from November through January, allow exposure to rain, do not protect from frost, until after germination. Best to sow several seeds into a single tray, pluck out and transplant individually in the spring. Emergence usually occurs once soil has warmed in April, sometimes May. Seed should be brown in color. Buff or pale colored seed indicates immature development. Viola is host to the Oregon silverspot butterfly, in addition to many other insects including most common garden pests. Please do not use systemic insecticide on Viola adunca.