Viola flettii

William Preece, in North American Rock Plants describes Olympic violet as “without doubt, one of the most precious jewels from the floral diadem of the Olympic Mountains of Washington”. As if only being found in talus slopes and crevices of rock at mid- to high elevation wasn’t enough, Viola flettii also prefers cooler exposures. This isn’t simply an observation (though it was noted by one of my colleagues), but was proven via a DNA analysis: Genetic Relationships, Morphological Divergence and Ecological Correlates in Three Species of the Viola canadensis Complex in Western North America by Cheryl McCreary.

Viola flettii was scientifically described by the Canadian-born Charles Vancouver Piper. As he was born in Victoria, this meant that he was within 75 kilometers of the as-yet-unnamed Viola flettii from his very first day. Piper will be acknowledged once more in an upcoming BPotD entry.

For more photographs of this small perennial, see the Burke Museum’s entry on Viola flettii. A description of the plant by William Preece is available via Google: Viola flettii.

Viola flettii

7 responses to “Viola flettii”

  1. schroeder

    What a lovely plant and thank you for all of these lovely posts. I just have one suggestion. It is best not to use the words “prove” or “proven” when discussing or reporting data in the biologicial sciences. More appropriate: “supported by DNA analysis”.

  2. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Great photograph — the shapes of flower and leaf, the colours, composition, the delicacy of the flower against /peaking out between/ the stone and wood, the detail of the lichen… all the contrasts… a pleasure for the eye. And the little flower, indeed, a “precious jewel”.

  3. Sue in Bremerton

    I know that DNA is becoming very popular besides just for humans. It would be interesting to see exactly what is shown by the dna regarding where a plant is found naturally, and what the differences might be between a desert plant and a plant from any other place. Exactly what the different DNA might point out.
    I know they solved at least one murder by the dna of a tree from a particular case, from leaves found in the bad guy’s truck, from the particular grove of trees that proved his truck, thus he was there doing the crime.
    And DNA from cats and dogs has also helped solve crimes. Interesting.

  4. Toni


  5. Troy Mullens

    Beautiful plant.
    Nice photo.
    Terrific post.
    I agree with the others about DNA.

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    perhaps this line says it nicely
    gardens are a form of autobiography
    lovely poetic picture

  7. Meyre

    Some people do not like to compare plants bahave with humans, however, this little creature is fighting to live no matter what. We humans should do the same 🙂

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