Viola pubescens  Aiton - Downy Yellow Violet


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Viola pubescens - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Violaceae


Woodland, closed forest. Beech forest, timbered prairie and oak savanna.




Most of the U.S. east of the Rockies. Not found in FL.


Herbaceous perennial to 45 cm, from a stout, scaly, pale brown or yellowish rhizome; softly hairy to somewhat glabrous throughout. Basal and cauline leaves present; cauline leaves 2-4 near the top of the stem, orbicular-ovate to broadly ovate, usually wider than long, short-pointed, crenate-dentate, cordate or truncate-decurrent at the base; basal leaves often one to several, long-petiolate, reniform-cordate at the base. Flowers yellow with brownish veins near base, on slender axillary peduncles; lateral petals bearded; style bearded at the summit. Fruit 10-12 mm, woolly or glabrous; seeds pale brown.


Flowers early April to early June

Wetland indicator: Facultative Upland -

Can be distinguished from V. rotundifolia (round-leaved yellow violet) by the presence of cauline leaves. The first three images were taken in a forest preserve in northeast IL, while the last two were taken in central NY.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005