Viola abyssinica Steud. ex Oliv.

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Viola abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Viola abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cottage opposite Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Viola abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

Viola abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kwaraguza Road, near Troutbeck

Viola abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kwaraguza Road, near Troutbeck

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names:
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native
A rather weedy perennial herb with trailing and creeping stems, rooting at the nodes. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate, hairless above or with a few hairs along the veins, hairy below, distinctly cordate at the base; margin crenate-dentate. Flowers solitary in the leaf axils on a pedicel up to 4 cm long, pale mauve or bluish; lower petal shorter than lateral and upper petals, with dark purple stripes and a spur, 2-3 mm long. Fruit a small 3-sided capsule, 4-6 mm long, yellowish, hairless.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: Along forest margins and in moist grassland, often scrambling over surrounding vegetation.
Altitude range: (metres) Above 1200 m
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: On mountains from Ethiopia southwards to South Africa; also in Nigeria, Cameroun, Fernando Po and Madagascar
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E
Growth form(s): Perennial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Issoria smaragdifera smaragdifera (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 23 August 2013

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 283. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 58.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 83.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 102.

Robson, N.K.B. (1960). Violaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Pages 258 - 260. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 184.

Other sources of information about Viola abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Viola abyssinica
Flora of Malawi: Viola abyssinica
Flora of Mozambique: Viola abyssinica
Flora of Zambia: Viola abyssinica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Viola abyssinica
African Plant Database: Viola abyssinica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Viola abyssinica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Viola abyssinica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Viola abyssinica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Viola abyssinica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Viola abyssinica
JSTOR Plant Science: Viola abyssinica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Viola abyssinica
Plants of the World Online: Viola abyssinica
Tropicos: Viola abyssinica
Wikipedia: Viola abyssinica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Viola abyssinica., retrieved 21 May 2024

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