Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Dog Violet, Wood Violet
Viola riviniana

Family: Violaceae (vy-oh-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viola (vy-OH-la) (Info)
Species: riviniana (riv-in-ee-AH-nuh) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Viola riviniana by Baa

By nosushi00
Thumbnail #2 of Viola riviniana by nosushi00

By nosushi00
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By trilian15
Thumbnail #7 of Viola riviniana by trilian15

There are a total of 9 photos.
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No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Feb 23, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The very popular purple-leafed violet widely sold in North America as the native Viola labradorica is actually a form of the european dog violet, Viola riviniana.

Neutral Baa On Jan 27, 2003, Baa wrote:

A perennial violet from Europe and North Africa.

Has heart shaped to ovate, toothed, mid-deep green leaves that may be evergreen or deciduous. Bears small, blue-violet flowers with a violet or white spur.

Flowers March - September but mainly in the spring.

Loves a well-drained but moist soil in light to deep shade.

Self sows easily and hybridises freely!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Eastpointe, Michigan
West Warwick, Rhode Island
Kalama, Washington

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