Early Dog-violet - Viola reichenbachiana
Glabrous or sligthly hairy, low growing plant with a slight basal leaf rosette, and lateral leafy flowering stems. Leaves heart shaped, as long as wide. Flowers violet, generally darker in the centre 12 to 18 mm; not fragrant, with a slender straight dark violet-blue spur, not furrowed or notched.
Very similar to Common Dog-violet and both flower early in the year. Common Dog-violet has a pale, almost white spur which is distinctly notched at the rear. It can also be confused with Sweet Violet.
Sepal appendages are short (less than 1.5mm) - this is the part that projects backwards towards the stems. Sepals are lanceolate (long and pointed).Spur is darker than petals, and usually straight, narrow and un-notched.
Side-on photos showing the spur and sepals are needed. This cannot be identified from a 'full-face' photo.
Woods, shady habitats, coppices and hedgebanks.
March to June.
Locally frequent or even locally common in some parts of England but scarce or rare elsewhere in Britain.
Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 27 of the 617 tetrads.
The current Checklists (Jeeves 2011) has it listed as Native, in old woodland; occasional, but sometime locally frequent.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015