On day 296 of 365 Days Wild I spent some time trying to identify the violets that are growing on the bank beside the lane in the village. There have been some dark purple ones there for a while now, but this time while I was out I spotted a few patches of some paler ones.
I think that the two types are Sweet Violet and Early Dog Violet.
This one is Sweet Violet:
And this one is Early Dog Violet:
Whilst they’re similar, there are a number of differences that can be used to tell them apart. The first thing that I noticed was the way the leaves on the sweet Violet emerged from the ground separate to the flower stem, whilst the leaves on the Early Dog Violet divided from the stem above the ground. The next defining features are the sepals – the leaf-like structures around the petals. On the Sweet Violet they’re rounded. On the Early Dog Violet they’re pointed.
This infographic from @dinkymoira that I found on Twitter is a very useful guide to identifying violet species.
Have you had a go at identifying any wildflower species recently? Let me know in the comments below.