SPECIES DESCRIPTION
VIOLA ARVENSIS

Family:- VIOLACEAE/Sect. MELANIUM

Common Names:-

Synonyms:- Mnemion arvense, Viola tricolor proles arvensis, Viola tricolor
subsp. arvensis, Viola tricolor var. arvensis

Meaning:- Viola The Latin name applied to several fragrant plants.
                  Arvensis (L) Of the cultivated field, of ploughed fields.
                            
General description:- Erect annual

Stem:-
1) Usually 10-20 cm tall, moderately branched, with indumentum of mostly short, 
    deflexed hairs.

Leaves:-
1) Lower cauline, narrowly ovate, crenate, those of upper,oblong-spathulate.
2) Stipules 1/2-3/4 as long as leaf, coarsely pinnatifid; terminal segment lanceolate,
    leaf-like.

Flowers:-
1) 1-15 cm; lower petal cream to yellow; others cream to bluish-violet.
    a) lower petal including the spur 8-14 mm, cream with a yellow base.
    b) lateral petals horizontal or somewhat upward-directed, cream.
    c) upper petals often with a violet tinge.
2) Sepals lanceolate, equalling or slightly exceeding the petals.
3) Spur equalling the calyx appendages.
4) Stigma without a prolonged lower lip.

Key features:-
1) Plant erect, moderately brached. short-pubescent at least in part.
2) Stipules distinctly lobed.
3) Leaf blade broadly oblanceolate.
4) Spur scarcely exceeding calycine appendages.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Cultivated and fallow fields, scrub, open woodland, 0-700 m, occasionally
higher on mainland.

Distribution:- Not uncommon on mainland Greece to 40N doubtful further south. -
Throughout Europe, naturalized in North America, New Zealand, etc. Previously
unrecorded from Crete. Discovered in the Lefka Ori area by Giorgos Palimetakis
June 2023

Viola arvensis hybridizes freely with V. tricolor in much of Europe. Records of V.
arvensis from S Greece, including literature reports from Mt Pamitha and mountains
of C Ewia, probably refer to \/. kitaibeliana. Erben (1985) did no recognize \/.
arvensis from Greece, and it is possible that all Greek records are referable to \/.
kitaibeliana. 1)

1) "Atlas of the Aegean Flora" Book1, Arne Strid 2016.

Flowering time:- April to early June.

Photos by:- Giorgos Palimetakis