Wood/Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)
Now appearing all over the neighbourhood – this delicate small flower is “probably” Viola odorata but one must take care in assigning species identity to most of the Violacea as they are famously promiscuoous and happily hybridises with any or all of the other similar members of the genus. Famous for their distinctive, if subtle scent.
V. odorata is native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. A rhizomatous perennial forming a loose mat of heart-shaped leaves with fragrant violet or white flowers 2cm across in late winter and early spring.
Now – we are away to find some genuinely native violets before they fade away for the year.