These notes and photographs are only to be used as a guide. Confirmation should made using either Stace or another good field guide.
Very common in woods and in grasslands. Note the pale spur which is curved up and notched at the end. Sepals pointed.
The Early Dog-violet usually appears about two weeks before the Common Dog-violet.
The spur is darker than the petals, straight and unnotched. Sepals pointed as V. riviniana but with small appendages. Drier woods, fairly common.
Viola odorata var. praecox
This Sweet Violet is early flowering often putting on a show as early as January.
Quite common usually found in shady hedgerows, hardly ever far from habitation. The sepals are blunt.
Viola odorata var. imberbis
Petals White (sometimes splashed pinkish-purple). Lateral petals not bearded. Spur pinkish-purple. Sepals, blunt, leaves roundish.
Viola odorata var. dumetorum
Petals white (sometimes splashed purple). Lateral petals usually bearded. Spur violet-purple. Sepals blunt.
Viola odorata var. subcarnea
Petals, pinkish-purple throughout. Lateral petals usually not bearded. Spur pinkish-purple.
Pale violet-blue, blunt spur, sepals blunt. Calcareous grassland and scrub. Leaves and stems hairy.
Pale lilac flowers with purple lines, kidney-shaped leaves, blunt sepals and spur. Acid bogs and marshes. Spreads vegetatively, often without flowers. Becoming scarce due to loss of habitat.
Flowers slate blue, spur yellow. Leaves narrow lance shaped. Rare on heathy ground.
Still a common plant in arable fields and waste places. Often found with purple blotches. Flower size is very variable from 8-20mm.
Viola tricolor subsp. tricolor
Not a common plant and becoming rarer. Once found as a corn field weed but not seen for a number of years. Note the upper petals do not overlap.
Viola x wittrockiana
This escape from cultivation is often found in the wild but can easily be identified by the overlapping upper petals.
This list is by no means comprehensive, there are a few hybrids to be found including:
V. riviniana x reichenbachiana = V. x bavarica
V. riviniana x canina = V. intersita
V. odorata x hirta = V. scabra
Also a number of subspecies of the more common species:
V. riviniana subsp. minor
V. hirta subsp. calcarea
It would be nice if V. lactea could be re-found in its old locations.