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Viola riviniana


Viola riviniana, the common dog-violet, is a species of the genus Viola native to Eurasia and Africa.<ref name=GRIN>Template:GRIN</ref> It is also called wood violet<ref name=GRIN/> and dog violet.<ref name=GRIN/> It is a perennial herb of woodland edges, grassland and shady hedge banks. It is found in all soils except acid or very wet.

It is a perennial, flowering from April to June.Template:Dubious

Viola riviniana was voted the county flower of Lincolnshire in 2002, following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.<ref>Plantlife website County Flowers page Template:Webarchive</ref>


Template:Expand section Its leaves are usually hairless.

Wildlife value

It is the food plant of the pearl bordered fritillary, small pearl-bordered fritillary, silver-washed fritillary and high brown fritillary butterflies.

Similar species

  • sweet violet (Viola odorata) – fragrant; all the leaves are located at the base of the plant; stipules are gland-tipped.
  • heath dog violet (Viola canina) – clear blue flowers; narrower leaves; smaller teeth on the stipules.
  • marsh violet (Viola palustris) – found in wet places; leaves are kidney-shaped; grows from underground creeping stems; dark-veined flowers; stipules without teeth.
  • alpine violet (Viola labradorica) – V. riviniana is sometimes sold by nurseries as V. labradorica.


This species hybridises with early dog-violet (V. reichenbachiana) to produce Viola × bavarica.

Further reading

  • Partridge, James (2007) Viola × bavarica: the punctual Dog-violet BSBI News 106:8–9 (illustrated with colour photographs on inside back cover of this edition)



External links