Hairy Violet - Viola hirta
Family - Violaceae

Hairy Violet - Viola hirta, click for a larger image, image is in the public domain
Carl Axel Magnus Lindman
Click photo for a larger image

Hairy violet is native to Europe, Asia and India, it is locally common in the UK and Ireland but not in all counties.  It is usually to be found on dry banks, woodland, scrub and stony areas preferring drier conditions to that of Sweet Violet, which also prefers the shade.  Botanical description for Hirsutus

A perennial plant with a prostrate habit and no stolons, the heart–shaped leaves with chordate bases arise directly from the rootstock, the whole plant is hairy, or roughly hairy, giving it a greyish appearance.  It flowers during March to May with pale violet–blue unscented flowers, blunt sepals and spreading hairs on the seed–pods, flower and leaf–stalks.  Hairy violet is very similar to Sweet Violet – V. odorata and Early Dog–violet – V. reichenbachiana.  Hairy violet is a food plant for the Dark Green Fritillary and High Brown Fritillary butterflies.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Hairy Violet – Viola hitra is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   The roots and seeds of this plant are toxic and should not be eaten.

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