Viola adunca is polymorphic with over 50 named taxa. It has been reported that diploid, triploid, and tetraploid races of Viola adunca occur in Canada and northwestern United States[
Lophion aduncum (Sm.) Nieuwl. & Lunell
Viola bellidifolia Greene
Viola canina adunca (Sm.) A.Gray
Viola canina longipes (Nutt.) S. Watson
Viola canina oxyceras S.Watson
Viola clarkiae A.Nelson
Viola conspersa masonii Farw.
Viola cordulata Greene
Viola demissa Greene
Viola desertorum Greene
Viola longipes Nutt.
Viola mamillata Greene
Viola montanensis Rydb.
Viola muhlenbergiana minor Hook.
Viola odontophora Rydb.
Viola oxyceras (S.Watson) Greene
Viola oxysepala Greene
Viola retroscabra reene
Viola silvatica adunca Kurtz
Viola tidestromii Greene
Viola uncinulata Greene
Common Name: Western Dog Violet
Viola adunca is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from short to elongate, slender rhizomes. One to five short, branched stems are produced at intervals from the rhizome, producing a cluster of leaves and flowers around 2 - 30cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of a dye. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
The rhizomes, fruit, and seeds of this plant are poisonous to humans, and can cause upset stomach, intestinal problems, respiratory and circulatory depression[
]. The flowers of this species are violet to lavender, becoming red-purple[
N. America - Alaska to Newfoundland, south to California, South Dakota and New York
Damp banks and edges of meadows in most forest communities; at elavations from 1,500 - 2,400 metres from Alaska to N. California[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds[
]. Plants are tolerant of maritime exposure[
]. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5[
]. Plants can tolerate seasonally saturated soils and also occasional droughts[
All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities[
Plants can flower and set seed in their first year from seed. Plants can live for more than 5 years[
There is at least one named form selected for its ornamental value[
]. 'Alba' has white flowers[
Like several other members of this genus, this species has two types of flower. The first type has petals and is pollinated by insects. The second type are formed later in the season, known as cleistogamous, they do not have petals, never open, but self-fertilize and produce fertile seed[
As the seeds ripen, the seed capsules dry and burst open explosively, casting the seeds some distance from the plant[
Young leaves and flower buds - raw or cooked[
]. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra[
A tea can be made from the dried leaves[
An infusion of the leaves and roots has been used to treat stomach problems and asthma in children[
]. The roots and leaves have been chewed by women during childbirth[
An infusion of the roots and leaves has been used as a wash and poultice on sore and swollen joints[
A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied to sore eyes[
A poultice of the crushed flowers has been applied to the side or chest in the treatment of pain[
A blue dye can be obtained from the flowers[
Seed - it experiences dormancy and needs up to 120 days of wet, cool conditions in order to trigger germination in the spring[
]. It is.best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.
Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.