PRAIRIE VIOLET
File Size: 67 KB
 
Viola pedatifida  G. Don
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 4-8 inches
Family: Violaceae - Violet Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Larkspur violet.
Stems: Stemless.
Leaves: Arising from short, stout bases, stalks to 6 inches long; blades 1 to 3 inches long, 1 to 4 inches wide, glabrous or pubescent, shallowly to deeply palmately 3-lobed, each lobe sometimes cleft again, these subdivisions often divided once more into 2-4 segments; margins fringed with hairs.
Inflorescences: Solitary flowers, terminal, stalks 1 to several, smooth, usually rising above leaves.
Flowers: Showy, violet; sepals 5, lanceolate; petals 5, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, lower 3 petals with white bases, dark purple veins, densely bearded, lowest petal spurred; stamens 5, yellowish; inconspicuous, non-opening, self-pollinating flowers also occur on shorter flower stalks.
Fruits: Capsules, egg-shaped, smooth, yellowish; seeds many, tan.
Habitat: Prairies and open woodlands.
Distribution: East 2/5 of Kansas.
Comments: The epithet pedatifida is from Latin "foot" and "cleft", a reference to the appearance of the leaf. Viola species frequently hybridize, making identification difficult.

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