Species: Early Dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana)

Family: Violets (VIOLACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: E

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Violets (VIOLACEAE)

The 5-petalled colourful flowers of our native violets brighten up woodlands from March. In folklore violets are symbolic of love.

C. Early Dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana)

This violet has narrow leaves and petals, and an unnotched violet spur. It is a native, flowering from March


Early Dog-violet

The Early Dog-violet is a native plant, flowering from late March.

Early Dog-violet

The Early Dog-violet has narrow leaves and petals, and an unnotched violet spur, seen here side-on.

There are three common violets that you are likely to see. They are the Sweet Violet, the Common Dog-violet and this one, the Early Dog-violet. So far, only the last two of these three can be found in the Cemetery. The Common Dog-violet is the easiest of the three to identify as its spur (the part of the flower that protrudes backwards from the petals) is very pale. The Sweet Violet and the Early Dog-violet have darker spurs, and are best distinguished from each other by the shape of their sepals (the very small, green, mini-leaves that emerge from the junction of the stem and the flower). In the Sweet Violet, these sepals have blunt tips. In the Early Dog-violet, they are longer and pointed, as can be seen in this photograph.

Early Dog-violet

The Early Dog-violet has pointed sepals where the flower's petals emerge from the stem.

Early Dog-violet

Another distinguishing feature of the Early Dog-violet is the shape of its leaves, which can be seen here to be heart-shaped and distinctly more pointed at the tip than round. Sweet Violets have leaves that are more obviously rounded.