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Hybanthus attenuatus

Hybanthus attenuatus (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) Schulze-Menz

Western Greenviolet

Violaceae (Violet family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Annual herb with proximal leaves opposite and distal leaves alternate.

US range restricted to three southern Arizona counties (Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate , Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Lanceolate , Oblanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous , Hirsute
Leaf Margin: Ciliate , Crenate , Serrate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Attenuate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Inflorescence: Axillary
Size Notes: From 11 to 46 cm in height. (Webref: 4)
Leaf: "Proximal opposite or subopposite, distal mostly alternate, petiolate; stipules linear [narrowly ovate], 15 mm, glabrous [ciliate]; petiole (3)47 mm; blade elliptic to lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 1.57(10.5) 0.32.5 cm, base attenuate, margins usually serrate, sometimes crenate, ciliate, apex attenuate to acuminate, surfaces coarsely glabrous or coarsely hairy." (Webref: 3).
Flower: "Inflorescences: flowers (1-)2-4 per leaf axil, often with 1-2 aborting, the pedicels 0.2-2 cm long, pubescent, erect to horizontal." (Webref: 4)

"Flowers: sepals narrow, long acuminate, entire, ciliate, 2-5 mm long, 0.5 mm wide at the base, the lower petals 7-12 mm long, spatulate, the tip 4-7 mm wide above a median constriction, this 1-2 mm wide, the petal base 2-3 mm wide, glabrous to pubescent on upper surface, petal edges and veins purple veins purple; lateral petals 0.5-2 mm long, thin, white or purple- tinged; upper petals ca. 2 mm long, purple tipped. Cleistogamous flowers present on short pedicels." (Webref: 4). Flowers strongly zygomorphic. (Bibref: 1788).
Fruit: Fruit is a capsule 3 to 5.5 mm in length, ovoid, short-beaked and glabrous. There are about six seeds per capsule. "Seeds ca. 6 per capsule, globose to somewhat flattened with angular edges, dark brown to black with white to gray patches; caruncle white to cream-colored, hood-shaped." (Webref: 4) Capsule thick-walled. (Bibref: 1786). Seed size: "1.5-2 mm . . . with whitish elaiosome." (Webref: 3)

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Sepals subequal, not auriculate; upper two and lateral two petals not showy, 8-12 mm, lowest petal showy, larger than others, narrowed at middle . . . white, purple-tinged, or violet. Bracteoles present. Cleistogamous flowers on short peduncles." (Webref: 3).


Native Distribution: Native to Southern Arizona, Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Equador and Peru. (Webref: 6).
Native Habitat: "Shaded areas, canyons, near water." (Webref: 3)


Warning: A know crop weed in tropical areas.
Nectar Source: yes

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 6 - Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database] (2018) USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
Webref 27 - USDA Plants Database (2018) USDA, NRCS.
Webref 4 - Vascular Plants of Arizona in Journal of Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and Canotia (1992) Canotia

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hybanthus attenuatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hybanthus attenuatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hybanthus attenuatus


Record Modified: 2021-01-01
Research By: JAM

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