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Family Violaceae

Description: Herbs and shrubs.

Leaves alternate, simple; stipules usually present.

Inflorescence a raceme or cyme or flowers solitary. Flowers zygomorphic, usually strongly so, mostly bisexual. Sepals 5, imbricate, persistent. Petals 5, imbricate, free, the lowest often largest and spurred. Stamens 5, hypogynous, alternate with petals; filaments very short; anthers free or fused around ovary, the connective usually produced into an appendage. Ovary superior, 1-locular, usually with 3 parietal placentas; style simple, stigma terminal.

Fruit a capsule or berry; seeds 2–many.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 22 genera, 900 species, chiefly tropical & temperate regions. Australia: 3 genera, c. 26 species, all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Violaceae, Order: Malpighiales)
Wikipedia

Viola species are used in horticulture, perfumery and confectionery; some species from other genera have uses in medicine.

Text by T. A. James
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Shrubs 1–4 m high; branchlets usually spinescent; flowers slightly zygomorphic; fruit a berryMelicytus
Herbs or rarely shrubs to 1.5 m high; spines absent; flowers strongly zygomorphic; fruit a capsule2
2Lowest petal scarcely longer than the others; herbs with mostly short stems, often stoloniferous; leaves usually long-petiolateViola
Lowest petal much longer than the others; erect-stemmed perennial herbs or shrubs, never stoloniferous; leaves more or less sessile
                       Back to 1
Hybanthus

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