Viola canadensis

Viola canadensis
Scientific classification edit
V. canadensis
Binomial name
Viola canadensis
  • Lophion canadense (L.) Spach
  • Lophion rydbergii (Greene) Nieuwl. & Lunell
  • Viola geminiflora Greene
  • Viola muriculata Greene
  • Viola neomexicana Greene
  • Viola neo-mexicana Greene[1][2]
  • Viola rydbergii Greene
  • Lophion rugulosum (Greene) Lunell, syn of var. rugulosa
  • Viola scopulorum (A.Gray) Greene, syn of var. scopulorum

Viola canadensis is a flowering plant in the Violaceae family. It is commonly known as Canadian white violet, Canada violet, tall white violet, or white violet. It is widespread across much of Canada and the United States, from Alaska to Newfoundland, south as far as Georgia and Arizona.[4] It is a perennial herb and the Latin specific epithet canadensis means of Canada.[5]

Viola canadensis bears white blooms with yellow bases and sometimes streaks of purple. The petals are purple tinged on the backside. The leaves are heart-shaped, with coarse, rounded teeth.[6][7][8]

Subspecies and varieties[3]
  • Viola canadensis var. canadensis
  • Viola canadensis subsp. canadensis
  • Viola canadensis var. rugulosa (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.
  • Viola canadensis subsp. scopulorum (A. Gray) House

Conservation status in the United States

It is listed as endangered in Illinois, Maine, and New Jersey, as threatened in Connecticut, and having a historical range in Rhode Island.[9]


The leaves and blossoms are edible. The latter can be used to make jelly.[10]

The South Ojibwa use a decoction of the root for pains near the bladder.[11]


  1. ^ "Viola neomexicana". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden.
  2. ^ Greene, Edward Lee 1902. description and commentary in English, as Viola neo-mexicana
  3. ^ a b "Viola canadensis". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
  4. ^ "Viola canadensis". State-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  5. ^ "Viola canadensis - Plant Finder". Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  6. ^ Blanchan, Neltje (2002). Wild Flowers: An Aid to Knowledge of our Wild Flowers and their Insect Visitors. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
  7. ^ Horn, Cathcart; Hemmerly, Duhl (2005). Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians. Lone Pine Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-55105-428-5.
  8. ^ Spach, Édouard 1836. Histoire Naturelle des Végétaux. Phanérogames 5: 517 description and commentary in French, as Lophion canadense
  9. ^ "Viola canadensis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  10. ^ Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. (2009) [1982]. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-4027-6715-9. OCLC 244766414.
  11. ^ Hoffman, W.J., 1891, The Midewiwin or 'Grand Medicine Society' of the Ojibwa, SI-BAE Annual Report #7, page 201

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