Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, annual or perennial, often suffruticose, rarely shrubby; rhizomes present or absent; stem mostly present. Leaves alternate, entire to pinnatisect, ovate-triangular or reniform, cordate, serrate or crenate; petioles sometimes winged; stipules persistent, free or adnate to petiole, lanceolate-ovate, entire, dentate or fimbriate. Flowers irregular, 1 - 2 on long axillary bibracteolate, non-articulate peduncles, often dimorphic with normal and cleistogamous flowers. Sepals persistent. Petals erect or spreading, flat, subequal; lateral ones larger than others; lowermost spurred. Anthers 2-loculed, subsessile, connivent around ovary, each tipped with a small triangular appendage; connectives of lower 2 often produced into spurs within the spur of corolla. Ovary sessile; style much-variable, straight or curved, often geniculate at base, filiform to clavate; stigma variable, truncate or obtuse, lobed or triangular, straight or beaked (Fig. 67). Fruit 3-valved loculicldal capsule; seeds rounded-ovoid, shiny.

Cosmopolitan, distributed chiefly in the temperate regions throughout the world; ca 500 species, 35 species in India, distributed mostly in the northern temperate and alpine areas; a few are confined to the lower hills.

Literature. CHATTERJEE, A. & A. K. SHARMA (1973) Cytological studies on Indian representatives of the genus Viola. J. Genet. 61: 52 - 63. HARA, H. (1975) Viola. In: H. Ohashi, Fl. East. Himalaya (Third Report): 82 - 85.

Notes. Pollen grains spheroidal, furrow generally three, occasionally 4 to 6, long tapering to pointed ends; furrow membrane smooth, easily ruptured; germ-pore circular or more or less irregular. Exine nearly or quite smooth. (Wodehouse, R.P. in Pollen Grains, New York 442 - 444. 1959).


1a. Stipules pinnatifid or palmatifid; lateral petals directed towards the top of the flower; style expanded and globose at top 33. Viola tricolor
b. Stipules entire to long fimbriate; lateral petals spreading horizontally; style not globose at top 2
2a. Stigma without beak, with 2 laterally patent lobes 3
b. Stigma beaked, triangular marginate, truncate or subtruncate 6
3a. Leaves reniform to rotundate 4
b. Leaves ovate-lanceolate 5
4a. Sepals linear-oblong, obtuse; spur ca 2 mm long 2. Viola biflora
b. Sepals subulate-acute; spur 5 - 6 mm long 34. Viola wallichiana
5a. Sepals linear, obtuse, ca 3 mm long 4. Viola cameleo
b. Sepals ovate-oblong, acute, ca 5 mm long 11. Viola hediniana
6a. Plants without superterranean stems or stolons; stipules more or less adnate to petioles 7
b. Plants with superterranean, decumbent or ascending stems or stolons; stipules free from petioles 14
7a. Leaves deltoid or deltoid-ovate, rather acute, usually with a truncate or shallowly cordate base and widely divergent basal lobes 8
b. Leaves ovate-oblong to orbicular, often rounded at apex, deeply cordate at base with a little divergent or subconverging basal lobes 10
8a. Flowers up to 6 mm across 16. Viola jangiensis
b. Flowers up to 15 mm across 9
9a. Calycine appendages up to 5 mm long, incised, often 1/2 as long as sepals 14. Viola inconspicua
b. Calycine appendages up to 2 mm long, rounded, nearly 1/3 as long as sepals 1. Viola betonicifolia
10a. Sepals linear-lanceolate, acute to acuminate 8. Viola fedtschenkoana
b. Sepals ovate, ovate-lanceolate,obtuse 11
11a. Capsules ca 3 mm long 18. Viola kunawarensis
b. Capsules ca 10 mm long 12
12a. Lateral petall bearded at base 19. Viola macroceros
b. Lateral petals not bearded at base 13
13a. Spur curving downwards 23. Viola philippica
b. Spur curving upwards 22. Viola paravaginata
14a. Stipules entire or with a few short teeth; top of style with 2 laterally patent lobes 15
b. Stipules with long acute teeth or fimbriate; top of style without laterally patent lobes 18
15a. Leaves cordate-reniform; petioles not or scarcely winged 16
b. Leaves elliptic-ovate to oblanceolate; petioles conspicuously winged 17
16a. Stems with underground tubers 3. Viola bulbosa
b. Stems without underground tubers 10. Viola hamiltoniana
17a. Peduncles bibracteolate at middle 7. Viola diffusa
b. Peduncles bibracteolate at top 6. Viola cinerea
18a. Leaves ovate-orbicular, weakly cordate at base 19
b. Leaves ovate-oblong, deeply cordate at base 24
19a. Peduncles bibracteolate at or below the middle 20
b. Peduncles bibracteolate above the middle 21
20a. Sepals acute 9. Viola glaucescens
b. Sepals obtuse 20. Viola moupinensis
21a. Spur 3 - 5 mm long 22
b. Spur 1 - 2 mm long 23
22a. Stipules fimbriate 31. Viola sylvatica
b. Stipules more or less lobed at apex with a few lateral narrow teeth 28. Viola rupestris
23a. Leaves silvery white beneath; veins raised below 29. Viola sikkimensis
b. Leaves not silvery white beneath; veins not raised below 12. Viola hookeri
24a. Flowers up to 1 cm in diam.; stipules foliaceous, up to 3.5 cm long 17. Viola jordanii
b. Flowers up to 2 cm in diam.; stipules membranous up to 1.5 cm long 25
25a. Style not thickened upwards, decurved 26
b. Style thickened upwards, erect 27
26a. Sepals acute 15. Viola indica
b. Sepals obtuse 21. Viola odorata
27a. Peduncles bibracteolate at or below the middle 28
b. Peduncles bibracteolate above the middle 31
28a. Sepals obtuse 30. Viola suavis
b. Sepals acute 29
29a. Leaves canescent, obtuse 5. Viola canescens
b. Leaves pilose or glabrous, acute or prolonged acuminate 30
30a. Leaves deeply cordate at base; spur ca 5 mm long 24. Viola pilosa
b. Leaves shallowly cordate at base; spur 2 - 3 mm long 26. Viola pogonantha
31a. Spur 3ยท5 mm long 32
b. Spur up to 2 mm long 33
32a. Stigma marginate, not papillose-hairy 32. Viola thomsonii
b. Stigma beaked, papillose-hairy 27. Viola reichenbachiana
33a. Lateral petals bearded at base 25. Viola placida
b. Lateral petals not bearded at base 34
34a. Petioles more than twice as long as lamina 13. Viola hossei
b. Petioles shorter than lamina 35. Viola yunnanensis


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