Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Marsh Blue Violet - Viola cucullata   Aiton
Members of Violaceae:
Members of Viola with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Violales » Family Violaceae
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DistributionThroughout the Mountains; scattered in the Piedmont, mainly in the northern half of the province; sparingly in the far northern Coastal Plain, with a disjunct record for Jones County. Absent from the Sandhills.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Mountains; rare in the northern half of the Piedmont, and very rare in the northern Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis is a wetland species, growing in seepages, springs, bogs, creek margins, and other damp ground.
See also Habitat Account for General Broadleaf Herbaceous Mires
PhenologyBlooms from April to June, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is one of many acaulescent, blue-violet-flowered violets in NC. The basal leaves are similar to many others, being heart-shaped to almost triangular, cordate at the base, and about 3 inches long and wide, a bit larger than most similar species. However, it has the flowering stalk raised far above the leaves, reaching 6-8 inches tall. The light blue-violet flowers are darker violet in the center; nearly all others are white or paler in the throat. The two lateral petals are bearded, and the lower petal is generally smaller than others. This is a frequently seen species along mountain streamsides, or in seepages in montane forests and edges. The quite tall stalk that places the flower well above the leaves should be easily noted, and the dark center to the flowers is also a helpful character.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

General note on Viola: In 2009-10 B.A. Sorrie (website map editor) went through the whole collection at NCU, annotating all specimens against those verified by experts in the genus. The range maps in RAB (1968) have been changed accordingly. More recently, H. Ballard and students are in the process of revising all Southeastern Viola, and they will recognize more species than are listed on this website, some of which are treated in Weakley (2020).
Other Common Name(s)Bog Violet, Marsh Violet
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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