Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Viola odorata L., Sp. Pl. 934. 1753; Hook. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 184. 1872, p.p.


Beng., Guj. & Hindi: Banafsha; Eng.: Sweet Violet; Kan.: Violethoo; Tam.: Vialettu; Tel.: Vayilettu.

Herbs, annual or perennial, prostrate; root-stock stout, articulated; stems short; stolons 15 - 20 cm long, slender. Leaves orbicular-reniform to broadly ovate, cordate at base, rounded to obtuse at apex, crenate-serrate along margins, 1.5 - 3.5 x 2 - 4 cm, glabrous to strigose; petioles 2 - 8 cm long; stipules ovate-lanceolate to subulate-lanceolate, 8 - 12 x 3 - 5 mm, glabrous, glandular-toothed. Peduncles slender, 4 - 12 cm long, bibracteolate at middle. Flowers 1 - 1.5 cm across, violet or white, tinged with purple. Sepals ovate, obtuse, entire, up to 7 mm long, ca 2 mm wide. Petals obovate, orbicular; lateral ones bearded or not; spur cylindric-obtuse, ca 5 mm long. Stamens 5, lower two spurred. Ovary strigose; style ca 2 mm long. Capsules globose, ca 5 mm in diam., hirsute.

Fl. March - May; Fr. June - Aug.

Distrib. India: Jammu & Kashmir, often cultivated elsewhere, particularly in West Bengal, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

N.W. Asia, Europe and N. Africa.

Notes. Plants medicinal, roots emetic, flowers used in lung troubles.

Chromosome number reported: 2n = 20 (Clausen in Hereditus 8:1. 1926; Gadella & Kliphus in Acta Bot. Neerl. 12: 195 - 230. 1963; Chatterjee & Sharma in J. Genet. 61 (1): 52 - 63. 1973).

Pollen grains 29.6 - 31.2 u in diam. (Wodehouse, R.P. in Pollen Grains, New York 442 - 444. 1959); prolate (39 x 28 u) (Nair, P.K.K. in Pollen grains of Western Himalayan Plants, Bombay 13. 1965).




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