Sweet Violet

Photo by FRITZ GELLER-GRIMM. License: CC BY-SA 2.5

LATIN NAME: Viola odorata

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE: The distinctive flowers on this plant are usually dark violet or white. Sweet violets are also characterised by their hooked style, and their rear-facing nectar capsule (behind the flower).

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Native to Europe and Asia, these violets are especially common in England. They flower from early February to April, and sometimes again in the Autumn. They are happiest in woodland margins, scrub, or shady hedge, conditions that can be found to some degree all over campus, so keep an eye out!

INTERESTING FACT: Although Sweet Violet produces mostly violet and white flowers, they often naturally hybridise with other species to produce flowers in a range of colours, including blue and yellow.


Streeter, D., Garrard, I. 1983. The Wildflowers of the British Isles. Macmillan London Limited: London.

Asakawa, B., Asakawa, S. 2001. California Gardener’s Guide. Cool Springs Press: Minneapolis.

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