Viola inconspicua from Virginia in SC

I’ve had this violet in my yard for several years now, and the source was a nursery on John’s Island where I got some plants. It was rampant in the nursery pots there, but not thuggish in the surrounding areas.

I’ve had suggestions that this was the native Viola sagittata, but was never able to find photos or illustrations that matched. Recently, though, I saw some photos of V. inconspicua at the Atlas for Florida Plants, and immediately thought that it was my NOID violet. Do you agree that it could be V. inconspicua, or do you think it might be something else, such as a hybrid?

Hi Virginia,

I believe that you are correct and that this is Viola inconspicua, the Chinese violet.  I do not know this plant. Strangely, Florida lists it as threatened, yet it clearly is not native in North America – it is an East Asian plant.  I’d keep it… it seems quite rare in this country and while it may become a weed, I can think of a lot worse weeds!

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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