smooth yellow violet

(Viola eriocarpa)

Conservation Status
smooth yellow violet
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Smooth yellow violet rises on usually three or more stems.

There are usually 1 to 4 basal leaves. The leaf blades are heart-shaped to broadly egg-shaped and have a heart-shaped base. The upper and lower leaf surfaces are hairless or sparsely hairy . The leaf blade has 8 to 15 teeth per side. The upper leaf stipules are semi-herbaceous, ance-shaped, and narrowly angled at the tip.

The flowering stem is hairless or has hairs in longitudinal lines.




4 to 18


Flower Color




Similar Species


Downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens) rises on one or two stems. There are usually no basal leaves, sometimes there is just a single basal leaf. The leaf blades are egg-shaped to kidney-shaped and have a broadly angled to straight (truncate) base. The upper and lower leaf surfaces are densely covered with minute, fine, short hairs, especially along the main veins. The leaf margin has 15 to 23 teeth per side. The upper leaf stipules are herbaceous, broadly egg-shaped, and broadly angled at the tip. The flowering stem is conspicuously hairy.


Dry. Woods, forests.




April to June


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.








Very common

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Malpighiales (nances, willows, and allies)  


Violaceae (violet)  
  Subfamily Violoideae  
  Tribe Violeae  
  Genus Viola (violets)  
  Subgenus Viola (pansies and violets)  
  Section Chamaemelanium  
  Subsection Nudicaules  

A survey of violets (Russel, 1965) argued that Viola pubescens and Viola eriocarpa intergraded wherever the two species occurred together. For this reason, he combined them as subspecies, and he renamed Viola eriocarpa to Viola pubescens var. eriocarpa. Following that publication, virtually all floras and treatments used the name Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula. Several treatments between 1995 and 2001 synonymized the two species as Viola pubescens.

A recent taxonomic treatment of the genus Viola reviewed just the species occurring in northeastern North America, specifically those species included in the second edition of Gleason and Cronquist’s Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Among the many changes suggested by the authors was separating Viola pubescens var. pubescens and Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula as distinct species.


Subordinate Taxa






Viola eriocarpa var. leiocarpa

Viola eriocarpon

Viola eriocarpon var. leiocarpon

Viola pensylvanica

Viola pensylvanica var. leiocarpa

Viola pensylvanica var. leiocarpon

Viola pubescens var. eriocarpa

Viola pubescens var. eriocarpon

Viola pubescens var. leiocarpa

Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula


Common Names


downy yellow violet

smooth yellow violet

stemmed yellow violet











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Bill Reynolds


Smooth Yellow Violet

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Other Videos
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Smooth Yellow Violet, Viola pensylvanica

Uploaded on May 29, 2011

How to identify Smooth Yellow Violet, Viola pensylvanica,

  Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens eriocarpa)

Published on Mar 24, 2012

Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens eriocarpa)






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