Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

Violaceae

Johnny Jump-Up

This is the original Pansy, still so called in many places; it is every bit as colorful as our garden pansies, but smaller. It often escapes from plantings, and can occasionally establish itself in sidewalk cracks or vacant lots. Although it is associated with spring, it can bloom occasionally throughout the year; this plant was happily blooming at the beginning of October in a meadow in Schenley Park.

Gray (with revisions by Brainerd) describes the genus and the species:

VIOLA [Tourn.] L. VIOLET. HEART’S-EASE. Petals somewhat unequal, the lower one spurred at the base. Stamens closely surrounding the ovary, often slightly cohering with each other; the two lower bearing spurs which project into the spur of the corolla. Besides these conspicuous blossoms, which appear in spring, others are produced later, on shorter peduncles or on runners, often concealed under the leaves; these never open nor develop petals, but are fertilized in the bud and are far more fruitful than the ordinary blossoms. — The closely allied species of the same section, when growing together, often hybridize with each other, producing forms that are confusing to the student not familiar with the specific types. The hybrids commonly display characters more or less intermediate between those of the parents, and show marked vegetative vigor but greatly impaired fertility. (The ancient Latin name of the genus.)

Plants with leafy stems.

Style much enlarged upward into a globose hollow summit with a wide orifice on the lower side; stipules large, leaf-like, lyrate-pinnatifid.

V. tricolor L. (PANSY, HEART’S-EASE.) Stems angled, 1.5-8 dm. high; lower leaves roundish or cordate, upper oblong, crenate; flowers large and widely spreading, variously marked with yellow, white, and purple; capsules ovoid; seeds brown. — An escape from cultivation, rarely persisting. (Introd. from Eu.)


Smooth Yellow Violet (Viola pensylvanica)

It is hard to sort out violets, and there is no agreement even among competent botanists about this one. The current fashion seems to be to identify it as a variety of Viola pubescens (var. scabriuscula), but it is still often identified as a species in its own right, sometimes as Viola scabriuscula or Viola eriocarpon.

Gray lists this as Viola scabriuscula; others as V. pubescens var. scabriuscula or V. eriocarpa.

VIOLA [Tourn.] L. VIOLET. HEART’S-EASE. Revised By E. Brainerd. Petals somewhat unequal, the lower one spurred at the base. Stamens closely surrounding the ovary, often slightly cohering with each other; the two lower bearing spurs which project into the spur of the corolla. Besides these conspicuous blossoms, which appear in spring, others are produced later, on shorter peduncles or on runners, often concealed under the leaves; these never open nor develop petals, but are fertilized in the bud and are far more fruitful than the ordinary blossoms. —The closely allied species of the same section, when growing together, often hybridize with each other, producing forms that are confusing to the student not familiar with the specific types. The hybrids commonly display characters more or less intermediate between those of the parents, and show marked vegetative vigor but greatly impaired fertility. (The ancient Latin name of the genus.)

Plants with leafy stems.

Style capitate, beakless, bearded at the. summit; spur short; stipules entire, the lower more or less scarious.

Stems few, mostly erect, not leafy below.

Petals yellow.

Sparingly pubescent; root-leaves usually 1-2; stem-leaves rarely over 7 cm. wide.

V. scabriuscula Schwein. (SMOOTH YELLOW V.) Similar to the preceding [V. pubescens], with which it intergrades; the more pronounced forms have commonly 2-4 stems and 1-3 radical leaves from one rootstock, the stems shorter and more leafy, the leaves smaller and sparingly pubescent to glabrate, the time of flowering earlier; flowers, capsules, and seeds as in the preceding [petals purple-veined, the lateral bearded; sepals narrowly lanceolate, acute; apetalous flowers abundant in summer on short peduncles; capsules ovoid, glabrous or woolly ; seeds light brown, large, nearly 3 mm. long].  Moist thickets, often in heavy soil, e. Que. to L. Winnipeg, and southw.


Smooth Yellow Violet (Viola pensylvanica)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

A violet with smooth leafy stems, distinguishing it from the otherwise very similar V. pubescens, of which many botanists consider it a variety (var. scabriuscula). These plants were blooming at the beginning of May on a wooded hillside overlooking a stream in Bird Park, Mount Lebanon.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Gray lists this as Viola scabriuscula; others as V. pubescens var. scabriuscula or V. eriocarpa.

VtOLA [Tourn.] L. VIOLET. HEART’S-EASE. Revised By E. Brainerd. Petals somewhat unequal, the lower one spurred at the base. Stamens closely surrounding the ovary, often slightly cohering with each other; the two lower bearing spurs which project into the spur of the corolla. Besides these conspicuous blossoms, which appear in spring, others are produced later, on shorter peduncles or on runners, often concealed under the leaves; these never open nor develop petals, but are fertilized in the bud and are far more fruitful than the ordinary blossoms. —The closely allied species of the same section, when growing together, often hybridize with each other, producing forms that are confusing to the student not familiar with the specific types. The hybrids commonly display characters more or less intermediate between those of the parents, and show marked vegetative vigor but greatly impaired fertility. (The ancient Latin name of the genus.)

Plants with leafy stems.

Style capitate, beakless, bearded at the. summit; spur short; stipules entire, the lower more or less scarious.

Stems few, mostly erect, not leafy below.

Petals yellow.

Sparingly pubescent; root-leaves usually 1-2; stem-leaves rarely over 7 cm. wide.

V. scabriuscula Schwein. (SMOOTH YELLOW V.) Similar to the preceding [V. pubescens], with which it intergrades; the more pronounced forms have commonly 2-4 stems and 1-3 radical leaves from one rootstock, the stems shorter and more leafy, the leaves smaller and sparingly pubescent to glabrate, the time of flowering earlier; flowers, capsules, and seeds as in the preceding [petals purple-veined, the lateral bearded ; sepals narrowly lanceolate, acute; apetalous flowers abundant in summer on short peduncles; capsules ovoid, glabrous or woolly ; seeds light brown, large, nearly 3 mm. long].  Moist thickets, often in heavy soil, e. Que. to L. Winnipeg, and southw.


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