Viola odorata L.

Common Violet

Sp. Pl. 934 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Stoloniferous and/or rhizomatous perennial herb, sparsely pubescent; stems short and erec. Leaves along stem and in rosettes; lamina ovate-circular to broadly ovate, 15–70 mm long and wide, base cordate, apex obtuse, margins crenulate; petiole 1–12 cm long; stipules free, ovate-lanceolate, c. 1 cm long, glandular, ciliate to laciniate. Flower-scapes 4–12 cm long; bracteoles near middle; flowers fragrant. Sepals elliptic to ovate, 5–6 mm long, obtuse, basal appendages prominent; petals usually 12–17 mm long, usually violet or white, lower (anterior) petal broad-elliptic to obovate, usually shallowly emarginate, prominently spurred at base. Capsule ellipsoid, 7–9 mm long, pubescent. Flowers Aug.–Dec.

*CVU, *EGU, *GipP, *HNF, *HSF, *OtP, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Naturalised all States except NT. Native to Europe, northern Africa, Middle East. Widely cultivated, occasionally escaping into moist habitats.

Often producing cleistogamous flowers with reduced petals and short pedicels.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1996). Viola. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-14
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Violaceae
genus Viola
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Viola odorata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Viola odorata in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory