Viola betonicifolia

Primary tabs

Viola betonicifolia


Perennial; Leaves 1½-7½ by ½-3 cm, 1-19 times as long as broad, linear-lanceolate to triangular-hastate or triangular-ovate, cuneate, truncate or widely and shallowly cordate with basal lobes often laterally prominent, acute or sometimes roundish obtuse, shallowly and distantly crenate, sometimes dentate on basal lobes, usually long-decurrent on petiole, glabrous; Stipules 2-7 by ½-1 mm, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, sparsely short-fimbriate, glabrous, fuscous, adnate to petiole to ¾ length. Flowers 6-14½ mm, white to purple with darker veins; Sepals 3-6½ by 0.6-2.5 mm, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, glabrous or ciliate, green with scarious margins; Petals 1½-3.4 times as long as broad, obovate, laterals usually bearded; Capsule 7-10 mm, ellipsoid to oblong, glabrous.


Alor present, Asia-Temperate, Asia-Tropical: India present; Lesser Sunda Is. present (Bali present); New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Australasia, Ceylon present, E. Java present, Himalayas present, Japan present, Luzon present, Mindanao present, Mt Idjen present, Mt Tengger present, Timor present
Himalayas, India, Ceylon, China, Japan, Indo-China, Australia, in Malesia: Sumatra, E. Java (Mt Tengger and Mt Idjen), Lesser Sunda Islands (Alor, Bali, Timor), Celebes, Philippines (Mindanao, Luzon), and New Guinea. .


This species shows considerable variation in leaf-shape, on the basis of which two subspecies have been recorded.
V. betonicifolia differs from V. inconspicua in having the calycine appendages less than half as long as the sepals, in leaf-shape and in the lamina generally being long-decurrent on the petiole. It differs from V. philippica by its generally shorter spur which is less than twice as broad as long, by the heavy bearding of the lateral petals, and by its leaf-shape.
The widespread references to V. patrinii in Malesian literature concern V. betonicifolia and V. inconspicua. In an analysis of this group BECKER () has shown that the name V. patrinii DC. should be restricted to the plant from northern E. Asia. This species appears to be diploid () and some of the taxonomic difficulties may be due to its genome being present in the species further south, of which those known cytologically are tetraploid or hexaploid.