Common name: Sandstone Violet
Viola silicestris K.R.Thiele & Prober APNI*
Description: Perennial herb spreading by stolons; rootstock not or scarcely swollen at the stem bases, with a slender ± woody taproot. Stems varying from leaves forming rosettes to elongate and scrambling to 0.4 m high with caulescent leaves.
Leaves broad, ranging from 4–15 mm long and 5–38 mm wide, 1–5 times wider than long; usually truncate at the base. Lamina with 5–14 obscure teeth, the apical tooth not prominently larger than the rest, glabrous or occasionally sparsely short-pubescent, concolourous. Petioles 2–11 cm long, stipules scarious, narrow-triangular with irregular elongate teeth on each side.
Flowers on scapes longer than the leaves, concolourous pale mauve blue; anterior petal 5–8 mm long rectangular to ovate, with a small green blotch at the base, regularly triplinerved with darker veins; lateral petals spreading, 6–8 mm long, twisted to about 90 degrees and usually reflexed; dorsal petals 6–7 mm long, erect to reflexed. Anthers violet tinted.
Fruits pale green with or without purple blotches; seeds 1.5–1.7 mm long, glossy purplish black when mature.
Flowering: September to November
Distribution and occurrence: Relatively common species occurring in scattered sites on the coast and the Great Dividing Range in eastern NSW and far SE Queensland.
Typically found in seasonally moist sites in sclerophyllous, healthy vegetation and acid and sandy soil derived from sandstones or silica rich igneous intrusives.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld
Can be distinguished from all other Australian violets by the combination of very broad leaves with ± even teeth across the apex and concolorous pale bluish-violet flowers and in suitable sites caulescent habit.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Thiele, K. R. and Prober, S.M.(2006) Viola silicestris, a new species in Viola section Erpetion from Australia. Telopea 11(2) 99-104.
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.