WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

This is the most common and most widespread white violet in NM. Numerous erect, 8–15-inch tall, stems grow from rhizomes with a leafy cluster of oval to heart-shaped basal leaves. Note the white flowers with a yellow throat penciled with purple lines.


FLOWERS: April–October. About 3/4-inch wide (20 mm) with 5 white petals, elliptic to oval; 2 upright petals, the lower 3 usually have a yellow throat with purple lines, the 2 side petals have tufts of white hairs or beards at the base; the lower petal is oval and reaches 5/8-inch long with the base forming a short, rounded spur with the nectary that attracts insects for pollination.


LEAVES: Basal leaves with stems (petioles) reaching 6-inches long, blades to 3-inches long, oval to heart-shaped with tapering tips, margins with small teeth. Stem leaves alternate, similar in shape; blades to 2 1/2-inches long (6.2 cm).


HABITAT: Moist, humus-rich, shaded soils of coniferous forests.


ELEVATION: 7,500–11,500 feet.


RANGE: Widespread in Rocky Mountains and northern states; Canada.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Of the 7 native species violets in NM, this is most common white-flowering species. Smooth White Violet, V. macloskeyi, at high elevations in no. NM mountains, is without stems and mat-forming. The only other violet with branching stems in NM is the blue-flowering Hooked-spur Blue Violet, V. adunca.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread in the mountainous western half of NM in  mid- to high-elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Carton, Cibola, Colfax, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance.

CANADA  WHITE  VIOLET

VIOLA  CANADENSIS

Violet Family, Violaceae

Perennial herb

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Leaves are oval to heart-shaped with tapering tips and small teeth along the margins.

Leafy, branching  stems can reach 8–15-inches tall.

Purple lines guide insects to the nectar glands in the spur at the rear of the bottom petal.

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