Viola selkirkii Pursh ex Goldie
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Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species Synonyms: none
Common Names: Selkirk’s violet
great-spurred violet
long-spurred violet
Canada: central Yukon – eastern British Columbia – central Alberta, east-central Saskatchewan – Ontario – Quebec – Labrador – Nova Scotia
Saskatchewan: east-central Saskatchewan; Greenwater Lake – Porcupine Hills – Pasquia Hills
Ecoregion: Boreal Transition, Mid-Boreal Upland, Mid-Boreal Lowland, Churchill River Upland
Saskatchewan: moist deciduous, mixed, or white spruce woods
Associated species: balsam poplar, bishop’s cap, fragrant bedstraw, Manitoba maple, mountain bladder fern, northern white violet, western oakfern, white spruce
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5 S2S3
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Selkirk’s violet is vulnerable because it is rare or uncommon in Saskatchewan. This species is usually locally numerous within limited areas. No immediate threats are known but may occur in the future.
Height: 6 – 15 cm
Rhizomes: rhizomes long, slender
Stems: perennial, leafy stem absent; runners absent
Leaves: basal, stalked, 1.5 – 3.5 cm wide, oval, base heart-shaped with a narrow space between lobes, tip acute to obtuse, elongating after flowering, short-hairy above, hairless below, margin round-toothed; stipules lance-shaped, tip tapering to a long point, dry and membranous, margin entire or few-toothed
Inflorescence: flowers solitary, from basal stalks; stalks equalling or longer than leaves; self-fertilizing flowers on erect stalks
Flowers: perfect, irregular; sepals 5, 6 – 7 mm long, lance-shaped, hairless; petals 5, 7 – 10 mm long, lateral petals beardless, pale violet, the lower 3 with dark violet veins, spur 5 – 7 mm long; stamens 5; style squared at the tip
Fruits: capsule 3-valved, 4 – 6 mm long, nearly round, yellowish-green, hairless
1 Plants without leafy stems; leaves and flower stalks arising from a woody base and/or plants with runners
1 Plants with leafy stems; flowers axillary, runners and woody bases absent
2 Leaves deeply divided; plants of prairies and dry areas
V. pedatifida
2 Leaves toothed or lobed but not deeply divided or margin entire; plants of meadows to moist woods or boggy areas
3 Flowers white, may have purplish lines towards the base
3 Flowers blue to violet
4 Plants without runners; leaves circular to kidney-shaped
V. renifolia
4 Plants with runners; leaves oval to kidney-shaped
5 Leaves hairy, at least when young; leaf and flower stalks reddish
V. blanda var. palustriformis
5 Leaves hairless; leaf and flower stalks greenish
6 Leaves 2 – 5 cm long, 2.5 – 3.5 cm wide
V. palustris var. brevipes
6 Leaves 1 – 2 cm long, 1 – 1.5 cm wide
V. macloskeyi ssp. pallens
7 Rhizomes thick and fleshy; runners absent; woody base usually short and thick; lateral petals bearded or not; sepals with or without marginal hairs
7 Rhizome slender and cord-like; runners present or absent; woody base present or absent; lateral petals always bearded (except V. selkirkii); sepals without marginal hairs
8 Spurred petal beardless
V. sororia
8 Spurred petal bearded
9 Sepals with marginal hairs
V. septentrionalis
9 Sepals without marginal hairs
V. nephrophylla
10 Runners present; petal spur much shorter than the blade; lateral petals bearded; plants of moist meadows and streams
V. palustris var. palustris
10 Runners absent; petal spur to 2/3 as long as blade; lateral petals beardless; plants of woods and rocky slopes
V. selkirkii
11 Leaves lance-shaped to narrowly oval; flowers yellow, may have purple veins at the base
11 Leaves heart-shaped to kidney-shaped; flowers yellow, white or blue
12 Leaves usually at least three times as long as wide, lance-shaped to elliptic
V. nuttallii
12 Leaves less than three times as long as wide, narrowly oval
V. vallicola var. vallicola
13 Flowers yellow, with purplish-brown veins; plants of rich deciduous woods
V. pubescens var. scabriuscula
13 Flowers white to lilac or blue; plants of woods or meadows
14 Flowers white inside, yellow at base and with purplish veins or purple tinge on outside; stipules entire
V. canadensis var. rugulosa
14 Flowers blue to lilac; stipules toothed
15 Leaves thin, hairless; stipules oval; flowers lilac
V. conspersa
15 Leaves thick, glabrous to densely pubescent; stipules linear; flowers deep blue
16 Leaves densely hairy
V. adunca var. adunca
16 Leaves hairless
V. labradorica