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.