Viola philippica

Viola philippica Cavanilles

Languages: English


General Description

Herbs perennial, acaulescent, 4-14 cm tall, to 20 cm tall at fruiting, labrous or pubescent. Rhizome erect, brownish, short, 4-13 mm, 2-7 mm in diameter, densely noded, with several yellowish or whitish rootlets. Leaves numerous, basal, rosulate; stipules glaucous or greenish, 1.5-2.5 cm, membranous, 2/3-4/5 adnate to petioles, free part linear-lanceolate, margin remotely glandular fimbriate-denticulate or subentire; petiole usually 1-2 × exceeding blades at anthesis, very narrowly winged in upper part, to 10 cm at fruiting, broadly winged in upper part, puberulous or glabrous; upper blades oblong-lanceolate or triangular-ovate, usually smaller than lower ones; lower ones oblong, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, or oblong-ovate, 1.5-4 cm long, 0.5-1 cm wide, both surfaces glabrous or puberulous, sometimes only puberulous along veins abaxially, base truncate or cuneate, rarely slightly cordate, margin shallowly crenate, apex obtuse; blades accrescent at fruiting, to 10 × 4 cm. Flowers purple-violet or purplish, rarely white, light colored and purple-striate at throat, medium-sized; pedicels usually numerous, equaling or exceeding leaves, slender, glabrous or puberulous, 2-bracteolate near middle; bracteoles linear. Sepals ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3-7 mm long, 0.7-1.8 mm wide, apex acuminate; appendages short, 1-1.5 mm, 1/2 to 1/6 as long as sepal, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, apex rounded or denticulate. Petals obovate or oblong-obovate, lateral ones 1-1.2 cm, inside glabrous or rarely lightly bearded, anterior one 1.3-2 cm (spur included), inside purple-veined; spur tubular, 3-8 mm, 2-5 × as long as calycine appendages; anthers ca. 2 mm, appendage of connectives ca. 1.5 mm; spur of 2 anterior stamens tubular, 3-6 mm, apex slender. Ovary ovoid, glabrous; styles clavate, slightly exceeding ovary, base slightly geniculate; stigmas triangular with slightly thickened and raised margins on lateral sides and abaxially, slightly flat at top, shortly beaked in front. Capsule ellipsoid, 5-12 mm, glabrous. Seeds yellowish, ovoid-globose, ca. 1.8 mm.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Diagnostic Description

Viola philippica var. philippica is close relative of Viola philippica var. pseudojaponica, but differs from the latter in its withered (vs. present) leaves in winter, oblong-lanceolate to triangular-lanceolate (vs. triangular-lanceolate) blade, slightly winged (vs. rather distinctly winged) petioles.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


The chromosomal number of Viola philippica is 2n = 24, 48 (Gao and Zhang, 1984; Huang et al., 1996).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun

Ecology and Distribution


Flowering from April to May; fruiting from May to September.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Viola philippica is occurring in Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang of China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Philippines, Vietnam.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Phylogenetic analysis of the genus Viola was inferred from transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA sequences. Parsimony and maximum likelihood approaches place Latin American sections basal in viola, supporting an Andean origin for the genus. Group of sect. Chamaemelanium, mostly stemmed and yellow-flowered with x = 6 chromosomes, intermingle with groups of sect. Nomimium that are stemless and white or blue-flowered with x =12 or an aneuploid number. The remaining sect. Nomimium groups with primarily blue flowers and x= 10 and aneuploid or polyploidy numbers form a clade including Hawaiian sect. Nosphinium, with pansies of sect. melanium (typically stemmed with multicolored flowers and x = 5 to 17) at the base (Ballard et al., 1999).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Growing in fields, grassy places on mountain slopes, forest margins, thickets; below 1700 m.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


  • Viola alisoviana Kiss (synonym)
  • Viola alisoviana f. candida (Kitagawa) Takenouchi (synonym)
  • Viola chinensis G. Don f. alboviolacea Skvortsov (synonym)
  • Viola chinensis f. anomala Skvortsov (synonym)
  • Viola chinensis f. communis Skvortsov (synonym)
  • Viola chinensis f. dissecta Skvortsov (synonym)
  • Viola chinensis f. glabra Skvortsov (synonym)
  • Viola philippica f. candida (Kitagawa) Kitagawa (synonym)
  • Viola philippica subsp. munda W. Becker (synonym)
  • Viola patrinii Gingins var. chinensis Gingins (synonym)
  • Viola yedoensis Makino (synonym)
  • Viola yedoensis f. candida Kitagawa (synonym)


Ballard, H. E., Sytsma K. J., & Kowal R. R. (1999).  Shrinking the violets: phylogenetic relationships of infrageneric groups in Viola (Violaceae) based on internal transcribed spacer DNA sequences. Systematic Botony. 22,
Gao, L., & Zhang Z. (1984).  The chromosome numbers of some seed plants. Chinese Bulletin of Botany. 2,
Huang, R. F., Shen S. D., & Lu X. F. (1996).  Studies on the chromosome number and polyploidy for a number of plants in the north-east Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia Sinica. 16,