Viola pilosa Blume, Catalogus 57 57 1823. (Syn: Viola aspera Ging. ex DC.; Viola buchaniana DC. ex D.Don; Viola burgersdijkii Oudem.; Viola celebica W.Becker; Viola crenata Moon; Viola dubia Wall. (ambiguous synonym); Viola glandulifera Wall. (ambiguous synonym); Viola glaucescens Oudemans; Viola griffithiana Boiss.; Viola palmaris Buch.-Ham. ex DC.; Viola pogonantha W.W. Sm.; Viola repens Buch.-Ham. ex Ging. (ambiguous synonym); Viola royleana Wall. (ambiguous synonym); Viola sarmentosa Burgersdijk (ambiguous synonym); Viola serpens Wall. (ambiguous synonym); Viola serpens Wall. ex Ging.; Viola serpens subsp. gurhwalensis W. Becker; Viola wightiana Wall.);
Afghanistan (Kunar / Nuristan, Laghman, Nangarhar, Paktia / Khost, Parwan), Pakistan (Waziristan, Kurram, Dir, Chitral, Pakistani Punjab, Murree, Hazara), Myanmar [Burma] (Kachin, Mon), Thailand, Indochina, W-China, Malaysia, Java, Nepal, Lesser Sunda Isl. (Bali, Timor), Sulawesi, Moluccas (Buru, Ceram), SE-Tibet, China (Guizhou, Sichuan), Sikkim, Bhutan, Jammu & Kashmir (Poonch), India (Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala), Sumatra, Java, Sri Lanka, Vietnam as per Catalogue of life;
As per efi thread:

Leaves are clearly acuminate in Viola pilosa and not so in Viola canescens
There is a clear difference as to how style is visible in the live flowers in both species at Viola canescens and Viola pilosa
One more point is the nature of the lower petal being mostly acute or acuminate in Viola pilosa and obtuse in Viola canescens
I think the above three point combined together should clinch the id in most of the cases.
As per keys in Flora of Pakistan:
13 (12) Stigma beaked. Ovary glabrous (14)
+ Stigma club shaped. Ovary hairy   2 Viola canescens
14 (13) Leaves acuminate. Sepals lanceolate, acute, ciliate-dentate   3 Viola pilosa 
+ Leaves obtuse. Sepals ovate, obtuse, entire 1 Viola odorata
Keys as per Flora of Mizoram in efi thread:
Leaves broadly canescent, obtuse; flower pale-violet — Viola canescens
Leaves pilose, deltoid, acuminate; flowers white to bluish — Viola pilosa


ANMAR03/03 Viola sp. for identification : 10 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (6)

Family: Violaceae
Date: November 2014
Place: Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

Habit: Herb

It may be Viola odorata or Viola alba, not sure.

efi page on Viola odorata 

Looks a lot like the Viola canescens we have here (Himachal) in the himalayas.

Any key identifying features, sir?

I can think of a couple off the top of my head. The lower petal is the smallest among all five. The tiny style (I am not sure if it could be called that) is yellow and tiny white hair cover the central upper surface where the petals meet. The flower overall is very pale violet, almost white.
Please remember that I am a beginner myself, so wait for the experts before concluding anything.

Thank you very much sir. This helps me a lot. Have you come across any other similar looking species of Viola?

I am struggling with this family. A couple of times I thought I had seen V. canescens turned out to be not so. There is V. pilosa and another whose identity I am still not sure. Hopefully in good time I will be certain what to look for. These are very useful plants for food as well medicines. Dr Chauhan’s book on medicinal plants lists V. serpens, V. canescens, and V. odorata in use in Himachal Pradesh.
The name serpens is also used for both indica and pilosa species. So you see there is lot to be learnt.
The good thing is that we have specimens aplenty here to study and I should ideally devote some time to this genus exclusively. You will surely hear it if I get around to doing that.

Will definitely be glad to find out how to identify these Violas. Thank you. Please keep me updated!

Leaves look more like Viola pilosa, but I think stipules are laciniate as in Viola canescens

Stigma is not clear and appears more like Viola canescens
So it may be something else.
However, high resolution images are required to see the details correctly.

I think it may be Viola pilosa Blume only.
I think stipules are variable.
Flora of China says stipules mostly free, brown or green, lanceolate, margin long or shortly fimbriate-dentate, apex long acuminate;

SK1177 06 JUNE 2018 : 12 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (6)
Location : Sukhiapokahari, Darjeeling, India
Date : 12 May 2018
Elevation :  6900 ft.
Habit : Wild
Viola again !

Yes, …. Beautiful images.

Sir i think Viola Sp. Violaceae.

Perhaps Viola canescens

Viola spp. But can’t go to the spp level..

Can also be Viola pilosa Blume, which is very confusing with Viola canescens Wall.

I am very excited to see this Viola with a 3-lobed stigma (and perhaps beaked too!) which according to Flowers of the Himalaya is found on V. pilosa. At least it gives credibility to FOH description which is different from eFloraofChina.
It is unfortunate that our main sources do not agree on the keys. FOH also says that leaf-blades are narrow and long, which clearly is not the case with Saroj ji’s plant, and stipules entire or toothed, not fringed, again differing from the plant in photos.
Since the plant is not hairy on petioles, leaf-blades and peduncles, I am inclined to rule out V. canescens.
I hope our experts will give a set of keys for the correct identification of Viola soon.

Just found this nice paper on Viola. I could not download it on jStor as I am not affiliated with any institution and am not a subscriber. Perhaps someone on the group could download and share the pdf.

Viola pilosa Bl. ?? : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)- around 600 kb each.
Location : Lava, Kalimpong, India
Date : 11 May 2018
Elevation :  7000 ft.
Habit : Wild

I am confused. Pl. also check Viola canescens Wall.
May be … can help.

Yes … It is sometimes difficult specially a lay person like me.

I agree …, it is difficult for us to deal with difficult genera without expert help. I have been confounded by Viola and despite looking at our plants over and over again, I cannot decide between V. pilosa and V. canescens. Differing descriptions in Eflora of China, FOI and other literature does not help the case.
I can see the stigma is flat with a beak like projection, petioles almost as long as laminae (though cannot see any hair above or below), stipules with long hair-like projections on the edges all point to V. pilosa. However, till we obtain an expert opinion, we cannot for certain file this under V. pilosa.
Hope this helps.

Viola pilosa Bl.

I think laciniate stipules rules out Viola pilosa Blume

SK1169 03 JUNE 2018 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Location : Lava, Kalimpong, India
Date : 11 May 2018
Elevation :  7000 ft.
Habit : Wild
Which Viola ??

Appears to be same as in your other post: Viola pilosa Bl. ??

Stigma looks different from both Viola canescens Wall. as well as Viola pilosa Blume.

OK …!

Could you please show us a close up of the stigma if you happen to have it (or a higher res. of _DSC0651). It might be three-lobed and will be interesting to see.

These are the only images I have ! Sorry!

No problem … Was just excited by the possibility of a three-lobed stigma.


Viola canescens Wall. (accepted name) ?? : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)

Location: Soureni, Mirik, India
Date: 21 April 2017
Altitude: 4200 ft.

Pl. check with images at Viola canescens

Looks like matching but could not confirm it.

I think more likely to be Viola pilosa Blume rather than Viola canescens Wall. as per leaves.
But can not be confirmed with these images as stipules and stigma can not be seen.

SK635 10 JUL-2017:ID : 6 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Chowrasta, Darjeeling, India
Date: 21 May  2017
Altitude: 7000 ft.
Viola  …. ???


Pl. Check comparative images in efi site.

Appears closer to images at Viola canescens Wall. as per comparative images at Viola

Thank you …

I think more likely to be Viola pilosa Blume rather than Viola canescens Wall. as per leaves.

But can not be confirmed with these images

Viola sikkimensis W.Becker ??


I am really grateful to all the members of Indiatreepix for helping me with the identification of the plants that i have been posting. Once again i seek help.
I came across this particular delicate plant at an altitude of approximately 2100 mtrs. Can it be a member of Begoniaceae. Plz help with the identification

This is Viola, experts may confirm the species!! I dont have literatures right now!! 🙁

Himalayan White Violet (Viola canescens)?

A was able to find only one plant of this at Manali. It is Veronica betonicifolia (Syn: V. patrinii). This one one has narrower leaves than canescens, thicker, nearly glabrous, not deeply cordate at base, and corolla with a short saccate spur (spur longer, slightly curved in V. canescence). You can view google images, illustrations of Efloras of China and Pakistan.

I think this should be Himalayan White Violet (Viola canescens) without doubt. This is the only Viola species with pale violet to almost white flowers found in the Himalayas at altitudes of 1500-2400 m.
… absent-mindedly typed Veronica betonicifolia when he wanted to type Viola betonicifolia. Viola betonicifolia has flowers which are violet, and look very different from this one. See this page for example:
All other Viola species in the Himalayas at these altitudes have yellow flowers.


Please note that leaves in Viola canescens and V. betonicifolia are totally different. They are thicker, shining, glabrous with truncate to hastate base, where as they are deeply cordate and much broader, not shining. Also the spur in V. canescens is longer and slightly curved, where as it is shorter, saccate and straight in V. betonicifolia. As for the flower colour please note that flower colour varies from pale purple to violet, fading with age. Kindly compare leaves of V. canescens at FlowersofIndia website,
Efloras of Pakistan and China with leaves of V. betonicifolia depicted in link cited by you, photograph forwarded by … and illustrations at Efloras of Pakistan and China.
I am uploading my photograph of V. betonicifolia from Manali. Leaves and Straight saccate spur are clearly visible. The flowers lacks violet veins, but is a common feature in many plants illustrated by my links above.
Most important Indian specimens now placed in V. betonicifolia were originally known as V. patrinii. I request you to see the following photographs:

Thanks for the detailed feedback. My perception of the flower color was based on Polunin & Stainton which describes the color of V. betonicifolia as violet. Indeed, Flora of Pakistan mentions it as lilac.

Leaves are variable in both the species. The only difference I can clearly make out (for myself) is that leaves of V. betonicifolia are much longer than broad, and those of V. canescens are about as broad as long.
One clear difference in the flowers of the two species, that I can see, is that the “lip” (lowest petal) of V. betonicifolia is broad and round at the tip, whereas that of V. canescens is narrow and pointed.
The spur of the two is also different, as pointed out by you.
Based on this, my conclusion is:
Flower posted by you is clearly V. betonicifolia (which was never in doubt) – the lip is round and broad at the tip, as shown in the illustration of Flora of China. Leaves are long, arrow-like.
Flower posted by … and those on FOI are V. canescens. The lip is narrow and pointed at the tip. I have also attached a picture of another view of the flower posted on FOI, which shows the spur. Leaves cannot be called long – the breadth is comparable to the length.

It is good that our interaction on the website throws up interesting results. I must admit, you are a very keen observer. I was able to collect only and photograph of V. betonicifolia from Manali. I hope you will incorporate into FlowersofIndia the photographs I sent yesterday, and not represented at that website.

I think more likely to be Viola pilosa Blume rather than Viola canescens Wall.
But can not be confirmed with these images.


Viola flowers – indiantreepix | Google Groups : 1 image.
As a comparision thought of posting my photograph of Sweet White Violet, Viola blanda taken in the Ranikhet-Binsar region in April.

I think this is also Himalayan White Violet (Viola canescens).
Earlier I had assumed them to be Viola blanda, as the two look very very similar. However, Viola blanda is native to the American continent, and Viola canescens is native to the

I think more likely to be Viola pilosa Blume rather than Viola canescens Wall.
But can not be confirmed with these images.


Wild Flower for ID – indiantreepix | Google Groups : 1 image.
Here is a wild flower from west Sikkim, seen last month, a herb around 6 inches tall. ID requested.

Himalayan White Violet (Viola canescens)

I think more likely to be Viola pilosa Blume rather than Viola canescens Wall.
But can not be confirmed with these images.

SK1849 20 April 2019 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (7)- around 550 kb each.

Location:  Nagarjun Forest reserve, Kathmandu
Date: 20 April 2019
Elevation: 1355 m.

Habit : Wild
Viola pilosa Blume ??

Viola pilosa Blume and Viola canescens Wall. are confusingly similar.
Pl. check details and keys etc. to confirm.

I guess V. pilosa leaves are more pointed compared to V. canescens.

Leaves are more like Viola pilosa Blume and stigma is more like Viola canescens Wall.
But stipules are different from both.
So something different.

Viola sikkimensis W.Becker ??

I think pistil looks different from FOC illustration

I checked keys in Flora of Bhutan at Viola
It leads me to Viola pilosa Blume only.
Flora of China says stipules mostly free, brown or green, lanceolate, margin long or shortly fimbriate-dentate.

Also does not match with Viola hamiltoniana as per GBIF.
So best bet is Viola pilosa Blume only.
May I request you to pl. post the original of 2nd image.

Ok! Thank you …!

MS March, 2020/09 Viola sp. ?? for ID : 6 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)- 1 mb each.
Location : Hmuifang, Mizoram
Date : 15-04-2019
Habit : Herb
Habitat : Wild

I think some Viola species.
What are the species reported from your area ?

Viola betonicifolia subsp. betonicifolia, V.canescens, V. hamiltoniana, V.pilosa & V.thomsonii are recorded in Mizoram.

Thanks, … Any keys ?


Attachments (2)

I do not see the key characters like stipules, peduncle etc. in your images.


Attachments (1) – 4 mb.

Possibility of Viola pilosa Blume is there.

SK1232 25 JUNE 2018 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)- around 500 kb each.
Location:  Sakiyong Khasmahal, Pedong Reshi Rd, India
Date: 16 May 2018
Altitude: 5800 ft.
Habit : Wild
Looks like flowers are spoil by rain of this Viola sp.

Possibility of Viola pilosa is there.

Viola sp. for id, Upper Dzongu, Sikkim – 2015. : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Please identify this Viola sp. from North Sikkim, found on mountain slope, between dense vegetation.

Viola species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available on net) 

Very difficult …, There are 18 species recorded for Sikkim and without further details mainly nature of stipules, lower surface of leaves, size of flowers, details of subterranean parts etc. it is not possible to identify the species without prior acquaintance. It could be the common species Viola glaucescens!  It must be from temperate meadows.

Thank you … for the inputs. It was found between 2000-2800 asl.

Possibility of Viola pilosa Blume is there.


MS March, 2019/07 Viola sp. for Id. : 7 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Location : Vaphai, Mizoram

Date : 20-03-2019
Habit : Small herb
Habitat : Wild.

probably Viola odorata ?

Looks different to me from images at Viola odorata L.
Also could not find a match at comparative images at Viola
Hi, …, What are the species found in your area ?

Viola betonicifolia subsp. betonicifolia, V.canescens, V.hamiltoniana, V.pilosa & V.thomsonii are found in Mizoram.

I don’t know either. but its leaves do not  look like this 

which is listed as Viola betonicifolia subsp. betonicifolia – Arrowhead Violet, 
Native Violet, Showy Violet, Mountain Violet

May I request you to pl. post high resolution images to see the details.
If any other images, pl. post them also.

Sir, I am posting herewith a onother images of Viola sp. for n/a please.
Attachments (2)

Thanks, … Pl. post the keys from your book.

Attachments (1) – 3 mb

Attachments (1) – 4 mb

I can neither see the stipules nor the bracteolates.
However, Viola pilosa Blume is possible.

72-TSP-ID-06JUN2016-2: Herb @ Mullaianagiri for ID. : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)

Kindly identify this herb. 

Habit: Herb 

Habitat: Wild, Evergreen forest floor with rich humus 

Sighting: Mullaianagiri, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1700 msl. 

Date: 04-06-2016

Viola sp.

Viola species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available on net) 

I think this will be Viola pilosa as per Flora of Peninsular India.

Saroj ji’s image at Flickr : 2 posts by 2 authors.

Saroj ji’s image at Flickr is of V.pilosa and not of Viola indica.
Pl. correct.




Viola For ID : Nainital,Uttarakhand : 200513 : AK-1 : Attachments (2).  6 posts by 2 authors.
Viola species seen at Nainital, Uttarakhand on 23/3/13.
Very tiny flowers seen growing wild.
Id please.

Can this be Viola canescens, common name Himalayan White Viola as in flowersofindia?
Experts kindly confirm id.

efi page on Viola canescens

seems to me viola canescens

Thanks to … for follow up and confirmation of id.

Lower petal and habit suggests V. pilosa

Viola pilosa from Kashmir-GS22102020-2 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (5)

Viola pilosa Blume
syn: V. serpens Wall.
Species differentiated by acuminate pilose leaves , lanceolate acute calyx, style beaked, curved downwards.
Photographed from Khillenmarg, Kashmir, 28-5-2012


MS,Oct.,2021/75 Viola sp. ? for id.:
Location : Hmuifang, Mizoram

Date : 16-04-2019
Habit : Herb
Habitat : Wild

Viola pilosa Blume ???

Yes. Same as at MS March, 2020/09 Viola sp. ?? for ID


Viola pilosa Blume: 3 very high res. images.

Location: Dailekh,  West Nepal
Altitude: 2000 m.
Date: 28 June  2021
Habit : Wild


Viola pilosa Blume: 7 very high res. images.

Location: Timure, Surkhet,  Nepal
Altitude:  2100m.
Date: 22 March 2022
Habit : Wild 


Viola canescens Wall.: 2 images.
Location: Nagarkot, Bhakgapur, Nepal
Altitude: 1900 m.
Date: 02 March 2014
Habit : Wild

I think it is (as per images and keys herein)


MS,Jan.,2023/21 Herb for id.: 2 images.
Location : Ailawng, Mizoram

Altitude : ca.1,350 m
Date : 19-01-2023
Habit : Small herb
Habitat : Wild

Viola :

I think close to images at Viola pilosa Blume


Viola pilosa Blume: 5 very high res. images.
Location: Taplejung, East Nepal
Habit : Wild
Images sent by Mr. Sajan Subedi !



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