Downy Yellow Violet

Nancy Barrett

Toronto, Canada

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Artist's Description

Downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens); perennial.

Photographed at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario
Nikon D90 with 105 mm Micro-Nikkor VR lens

Flower: Yellow with purple veins near base; 5 unequal petals; 2 lateral petals are bearded; grow on hairy stalks from leaf axils; May-June.

Stem: The flowers occur on stalks, rather than on basal leaves; soft hairs on the stem and rest of plant are distinctive.

Leaves: Basal leaves single or absent, rounded to heart-shaped; opposite; stem leaves near top of stem, egg-shaped, pointed tip, 4-10 cm long; toothed; hairy beneath.

Height: 10-45 cm.

Habitat: Rich, moist slopes in wooded areas and moist hardwood forests.

Interest: This is one of the early spring wildflowers. Violets are so successful in part because they have the ability to ballistically scatter their seeds over long distances. This happens when the three sides of each fruit dry, slowly squeeze shut, and shoot out the seeds over a period of an hour or more. The downy yellow violet scatters its seeds up to five meters away.

Language of Flowers: Yellow violet means “modest worth” or “rural happiness”. Source

Artwork Comments

  • Terry Everson
  • Nancy Barrett
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