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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Viola adunca (Hooked-spur violet)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Viola adunca

Viola adunca Sm.

Hooked-spur Violet, Western Blue Violet, Western Dog Violet

Violaceae (Violet Family)


USDA Symbol: viad

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A small plant with pansy-like bluish-violet flowers that hang at tips of slender stalks.

Violets are very popular wildflowers and garden plants, romantically described as "shrinking" because of the way the petals fold in. Species are often difficult to identify as they may hybridize, producing intermediate forms. These hybrids, in turn, may reproduce by means of inconspicuous flowers at the base of the plant, often even underground, producing seeds without opening.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 14 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , MA , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NH , NM , NV , NY , OR , SD , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NS , ON , PE , SK
Native Distribution: Canada; south to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, the northern Great Plains.
Native Habitat: Meadows, open woods, and open slopes from sea level to timberline.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Sandy


Use Food: Violet leaves contain more vitamin A than spinach, and one-half cup of violet leaves has as much vitamin C as four oranges. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Zerene Fritillary
(Speyeria zerene)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Great Basin Fritillary
(Speyeria egleis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Hydaspe Fritillary
(Speyeria hydaspe)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Mormon Fritillary
(Speyeria mormonia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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