Two local violets revisited
I wasn’t expecting to write another post so soon on violas, but I’ve had so much help online, it would be a shame not to get it all down while I remember!
In my previous post I spotted two different looking violas in the verges of Alfriston Rd, Seaford. Viola hirta is common locally as this is a chalky area.
Twitter help with Violas
As ever, @wildfllower_hour and @nervousbotanist were really helpful. Here is my tweet and selected replies:
I had a go at identifying two violets using the great new viola ID tips from @wildflower_hour and help from @home_plant! I think I have Viola hirta left and Viola odorata right #wildflowerhour https://t.co/qmHKGBGuyO pic.twitter.com/6yqNWPQija
— Ruth Ridley (@RuthWildflowers) January 26, 2020
… appendages. Ruth, if you are looking again, look at the hairs on the leaf stalks. In Sweet Violet they are pressed against the stalk and in Hairy Violet they are sticking out.
— Moira O’Donnell (@nervousbotanist) January 26, 2020
I shared again my photo of the paler viola:
I mentioned that although it’s early in the year, my part of the world is really mild, and said I would have a closer look next time I was walking that way. Many plants around here are in flower in January.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to look for a couple of days, and by the time I’d got back, there was nothing to see. You can tell from the pic that something had been eating the flowers, and I suspect that the little critter had been back to finish the job! I’m sure there are leaves still present, but without the eye-catching flowers, the plant will be hard for me to home in on.
I pass the spot at least once a week, so will keep my eyes open!
Violet stem hairs
In the meantime everyone agreed that having a closer look at the stem hairs might be helpful. I still had the original specimens, so was able to get some pics. I noticed that the stem of the darker violet was more purple and more curled than the other one, and you can see the hairs below, although I don’t really know enough to comment on them!
It was also suggested that if I can get another look at the plant, then the leaves might aid a comparison – looking it up in Rose, I see that hairy violet seems to have more pointed leaves than sweet violet. Here is what my Viola Odorata leaves look like:
The online consensus, in lieu of any further info, was that both plants are Viola odorata, which seems most likely considering the wide abundance of sweet violet in the vicinity.