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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 affinis (Sand violet)
Smith, R.W.

Viola affinis

Viola affinis Leconte

Sand Violet, Pale Early Violet, Thinleaf Violet, Small Blue Violet

Violaceae (Violet Family)

Synonym(s): Viola chalcosperma, Viola rosacea, Viola sororia ssp. affinis, Viola sororia var. affinis

USDA Symbol: viaf2

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

The glossy, heart-shaped leaf blades are narrow in the spring, becoming much larger in summer. The violet flower has a conspicuous white throat; the three lower petals are somewhat hairy. The heart-shaped leaves, coarsely toothed, have long stems growing from the base. This violet ranges from 6-10 in. tall.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Cordate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall. Usually a 7 x 8 inch mound in spring.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME to MN, s. to FL, w. to TX & AR. Also ON & QC.
Native Habitat: Moist meadows; low woods; shady stream banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes

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:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX


Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

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Research Literature

Reslit 2845 - HYBRIDISM IN THE GENUS VIOLA (1904) Ezra Brainerd
Reslit 2847 - HYBRIDISM IN THE GENUS VIOLA - III (1906) Ezra Brainerd

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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