Common name: Wild Violet
Viola banksii K.R.Thiele & Prober APNI*
Synonyms: Viola reniformis (Sweet) Endl. APNI*
Description: Vigorous perennial herb spreading with stolons.
Leaves broad-reniform, forming rosettes, mostly 18–25 mm long, 30–45 mm wide, glabrous, margins toothed. Stipules narrow-triangular to broad-triangular, usually with glandular teeth.
Flowers on scapes to 15 cm long, exceeding the leaves, violet and white, anterior petal ovate to broad ellitpic, broadest in the middle third, with a large green V-shaped blotch at the base, then rich violet for over half its length and prominent large white apex., prominently 3-veined, lateral petals widely spreading and strongly twisted, rich violet at base gradually grading to white; dorsal petals erect to strongly reflexed, white for most of their length.
Fruit white or pale green, often flecked. Seeds long glossy purplish black. 1.8–2.5 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Common and widespread in near coastal sites from Ulladulla to just N of the Qld - NSW border. Reportedly now naturalised around Healesville, Victoria.
Characteristically found on coastal headlands, dune swales and soastal swamp and rainforest fringes, usually in moist areas.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC
Other Australian states: Qld *Vic.
Derivation of the name is after Joseph Banks (1743-1820), naturalist on the Cook voyage to Australia, and with Daniel Solander, the first collector of the Viola hederacea species complex.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Kevin R. Thiele amd Suzanne M. Prober Mulleria 18:7-25 (2003)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.