Monday, May 7, 2012

VIolet Corrections, I hope....

I think I've found 7 species of wild violets around Quincy, and I've made a few mistakes in identifying them.  But, I have some alert blog followers who seem to know the violets better than I do.  So, this post is my attempt to incorporate the corrections as best I can.  I'll identify them by scientific name, and, with trepidation, also by common name.  Unfortunately, several of these species are known by more than one common name.  That can be aggravating or interesting, depending on one's perspective.
I'll start with an easy one, the only blue wild species I've seen around here, the Western Dog Violet, Viola adunca,   That is followed by a photo of Douglas's Violet, Viola douglasii.  Note the small, fuzzy leaves, unlike any other violet around these parts.
Then I have three photos of the Smooth Yellow Violet, also known as Stream Violet, Viola glabella.  Sure enough, I've been finding them in and around streams!  [Drat!  I just noticed the third photo of Viola glabella got bumped past the 3 photos of V. lobata.  Hopefully, the leaves are a give-away.]
Here's where the trouble begins.  Three photos of Viola lobata, in some guides called the Wood Violet, and, in others, the Pine Violet.  Note the very few, large lobes of each leaf. 
Then, 1 photo of the only wild white species I know of, Macloskey's Violet, Viola macloskeyi.  I photographed this one at the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area last summer.  I went up there today, and they're not blooming yet.  In fact, they haven't even broken ground.
After Macloskey, I have four photos of Viola pinetorum.  This is called the Pine Violet in one of my field guides, which can cause confusion with V. lobata, depending on whether you type the common or the scientific name into a web browser.  Anyway, V. pinetorum is easily distinguished from V. lobata, by comparing the leaves.
Last, I have 3 photos of Shelton's Violet, Viola sheltonii, which I have often confused with V. lobata.
Compare the leaves.  Those of V. sheltonii have many more smaller lobes and look more fern-like.  In fact, sometimes this one is known as Fan Violet.
So, if anyone out there wants to correct my corrections, go for it.  I did my best.  On a quick drive today down Blackhawk road, through the Botanical Area, and returning by the Butterfly Valley Road, I saw four out of the five yellow species pictured here.  Also, lots of other good stuff that will be in my next post.

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