Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Northern Downy Violet - Viola fimbriatula   Smith.
Members of Violaceae:
Members of Viola with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Family Violaceae
DistributionThroughout the Mountains, and scattered through the western half of the Piedmont -- east to Rockingham, Guilford, and Mecklenburg counties.

Eastern Canada west to WI, and south to NC, eastern TN, and Midwestern states.
AbundanceFairly common to rather common in the Mountains, but uncommon in most of the western half of the Piedmont.
HabitatA species of dry, upland sites, often sandy; dry wooded borders, roadsides, glades, and open woods. Can be somewhat weedy on roadsides and recent clearings.
PhenologyBlooms in April and early May, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a short species, with several leaves, all basal, with only a very short petiole. The several blades are lanceolate, with convex margins, and usually several large teeth at the leaf base corners; the base is usually truncate to cordate. Leaves are often angled upward. The flowers are violet-blue, as is typical for many violet species. It is quite similar to the closely related V. emarginata, which has leaves more triangular, often with straight sides; blades are usually only as long as wide or barely longer.
Taxonomic CommentsWeakley (2018) had this taxon included within V. sagittata, but his 2020 version has it split back out as a valid species, as did RAB (1968) and most other older references.

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 additional species; this work has now been published (see above). We will follow updated editions of Weakley in recognizing them.
Other Common Name(s)Sand Violet, Arrowleaf Violet (used mainly for V. sagittata)
State Rank[S3S4]
Global RankGNA [G5]
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type