Valdieri violet

Viola valderia

Viola valderia | APAM Archive

Appearance

Perennial, herbaceous plant with delicate white ramose rhizome, and 10-20 cm tall, stems branching at the base, leafy, partly prostrate, short, almost quadrangular, usually densely pubescent with thick short hairs.
Leaves spiralled, stipulated, with petiole longer or as long as the leaf, narrow, linear, almost flat; lower leaves with oval or elliptic lamina, smaller, the upper ones strictly elliptic or lanceolate, obtuse, entire or slightly crenate; stipules digitate with 3-7 leaf segments, deeply incised with the apical segment not much bigger than the lateral ones.
Hermaphrodite flowers, tetracyclic zygomorphic, pentamerous on 4-7 cm peduncles; calyx with 5 sepals prolonged at the base in a short herbaceous appendage; violaceous-lilacin corolla, 2-2.5 cm long, formed of 5 petals, the lower one prolonged at the base in a spur containing two appendices of the lower stamens, transformed in nectarii and the two lateral ones always much close to the upper ones; thin and elongated spur, 7-10 mm long, much more than the calyx appendices , curved like a hook; 5 free stamens; unilocular superior ovary, S-shaped twisted stylus with almost globular stigmata.
The fruit is a loculicidal capsule with 3 valves, dehiscent oval-globose, sub-equal to the calyx, containing many seeds. entomogama pollination.


Flowering

June-August.


Habitat

Rough pastures and as a pioneer species found consolidating exclusively silica gravel, between 1200 and 2300 metres above sea level.


Distribution

Sub-endemic species on both sides of the Maritime Alps.


Etymology

The name of the genus comes from the Greek (f)íon, "violet", term designating species belonging to the genus. The name of the species obviously comes from Valdieri, municipality where the species was identified for the first time.


Curiosity

The Viola valderia gives the name to the Botanical garden "Valderia ".



Endemism: endemic species are animals or plants living exclusively in a given territory. When this is very limited, we speak of "restricted" endemism. "Endemic" is not necessarily synonymous with "rare": rare species may have few individuals distributed over large areas, an endemic species can also be abundant in a given area, but be limited to that single territory.