Common Dog-violet - Viola riviniana

    Alternative names

    Low to short plant. Leaves heart shaped, long stalked. Flowers deep bluish-purple 14 to 25 mm not scented. Spur rather stout, whitish or pale purple, often upcurved, notched or furrowed towards the tip.

    Similar Species

    Viola reichenbachiana and Viola odorata

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Sepal appendages are long (more than 1.5mm) - this is the part that projects backwards towards the stems.  Sepals and lanceolate (long and pointed). Spur is paler than petals, and usually whitish, broad, curved and notched at the end.

    Recording advice

    Side-on photos showing the spur and sepals are needed.  This cannot be identified from a 'full-face' photo.


    Deciduous woodland, grassy heath, old pastures, waysides.

    When to see it

    April to June.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 299 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist, (Jeeves 2011) it is Native and Locally frequent

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map