Viola hederacea Labill.

Ivy-leaved Violet

Nov. Holl. Pl. 1: 66, t. 91 (1805) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Stoloniferous perennial herb, glabrous to pubescent. Leaves tufted; lamina reniform to more or less semicircular, 5–35 mm long, 5–50 mm wide, base broadly cordate, truncate or rarely somewhat cuneate, apex obtuse, margins entire to scalloped or broadly toothed; petioles 2–8 cm long; stipules free, linear-lanceolate, 2–8 mm long, laciniate. Flower-scapes (3–)6–17 cm long, mostly subequal to or exceeding leaves, bracteoles near middle. Sepals lanceolate, 3–6 mm long, acute, basal appendages small; petals 7–10 mm long, 2-coloured, mauve-violet and white, the boundary between the two colours diffused, lower (anterior) petal obovate, lacking a spur, the central 3 longitudinal nerves not strictly parallel and often anastomosing, lateral petals bearded (very rarely glabrous), twisted through approximately 90 degrees. Capsule ovoid, 4–6 mm long. Seeds ovoid, 1.2–2 mm long, dull, mottled cream and brown to uniformly reddish-brown. Flowers mostly Oct.–Dec.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuF, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Widespread, from the northern foothills of the Dividing Range south to the coast, mostly in sheltered, moist habitats from sea-level to subalps.

Previously confused with more recently segregated members of the complex (e.g. V. banksii, V. eminens), while other entities formerly regarded as subspecies of V. hederacea have been elevated to species rank (V. cleistogamoidesV. fuscoviolacea). Viola hederacea subsp. seppeltiana has been shown to have little relationship with V. hederacea and is treated here as V. sieberiana. Thiele et al. (2018) have determined that the populations from the Baw Baws are consistent with V. hederacea subsp. curtisiae,  which was thought to be endemic to Tasmania. With V. hederacea subsp. curtisiae now raised to species rank, V. hederacea is now without infraspecies (Thiele et al. 2018). See profile under that name.

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2015-04-17
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-05-24

Thiele, K.R.; de Salas, M.; Walsh, N.G.; Messina, A.; Little, R.J. & Prober, S.M. (2018). Viola curtisiae, a new rank for a poorly understood species, with notes on V. hederacea subsp. seppeltiana, Muelleria 36: 107-111.

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 hederacea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Viola hederacea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory