Viola arvensis Murray
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 5
Family - Violaceae
Habit - Annual forb, with a slender, vertical taproot 1-2 mm thick.
Stems - To 35 cm, ascending to erect. Stipules leafy, free from petiole, deeply lobed with several long, narrow segments.
Leaves - Blades 0.5-2.5 cm long, unlobed, obspatulate to obovate, broadly to narrowly angled to a pointed tip, angled to rounded at the base, the margins otherwise bluntly toothed, the surfaces glabrous or minutely and inconspicuously hairy.
Flowers - Sepals 7-15 mm long, lanceolate, sharply pointed at tip, the margins glabrous, the basal auricles well-developed. Corollas 4-12 mm long, the petals shorter than the sepals, white or pale cream-colored with a yellow throat, also with a few, dark purple lines, the lateral petals bearded on the upper surface, the lowermost petal glabrous on the upper surface, the spur 1.0-1.5 mm long. Stamens not exserted, typically not visible without dissection of the flower. Style enlarged into a globose, hollow stigmatic tip. Cleistogamous flowers not produced.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Forest margins, old fields, old homesites.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Lookalikes - None.
Other info. - This violet is uncommon in Missouri, currently known from only four counties. When found it is easily recognized by the appearance of the flowers and leaves. It is one of only a small group of Missouri violets which produces an aerial stem.
Photographs taken at Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area, St. Charles County, MO, 4-24-2016 (SRTurner).