Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Blue Ridge Violet - Viola monacanora   J.L. Hastings & H.E. Ballard, ined.
Members of Violaceae:
Members of Viola with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Violaceae
AuthorJ.L. Hastings & H.E. Ballard, ined.
DistributionThis is a recently described species (by Ballard et al., 2023) and is split from the formerly large and confusing V. palmata complex. So far, collected only from Wilkes County, in the Brushy Mountains, in 1956. To be looked for in the northern Mountains, as well.

Limited to just VA and northwestern NC. In VA found in the Blue Ridge north to the northern counties, and ranges into the western Piedmont.
AbundanceUndetermined, as this is a very recently described species, and thus there may well be specimens of the former V. palmata in various herbaria that might be this species. The only specimen was collected many decades ago (1956) by Albert Radford (NCU). Might not be truly rare, but completely unknown. Even though the only specimen was from over 60 years ago, there is no reason to think it is actually gone from NC. The website editors will suggest a State Rank of SU (unrankable or undetermined, owing to being newly described) for now, and a Watch List status.
HabitatRich mesic forests.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May; fruits in May and June.
IdentificationThis species has the typical violet blue flowers of many other violets, with the stem separate from leaves (thus acaulescent). The leaves are palmately divided, in late flower and fruit into 9-11 (to rarely 13) lobes. The central lobe is usually wider and much longer than the others. "It is distinct from other homophyllous cut-leaved violets, especially during cleistogamous fruit, in the strictly glabrous foliage (the petioles uncommonly sparsely hirtellous), peduncles and eciliate calyces, with lower surface of leaf blades, petioles, peduncles, and calyces strongly tinged with purple, the narrow and deeply biternately divided leaf blades with linear apically angulate lobes, slender acuminate sepals, and blackish seeds with minute black raised reticulations" (Ohio Univ. website).
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly a part of the Viola palmata complex. See Ballard et al. (2023) for more details.

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)Monacan Violet
State Rank[SU]
Global RankGNR
State Status[W7]
US Status
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