This is a native species.

Viola canadensis variety scopulorum

Viola canadensis

Viola canadensis variety scopulorum

Above: Viola rugulosa
Left: Viola scopulorum. 
Synonyms: Viola canadensis, Viola rydbergii. (White Violet)
Violaceae (Violet Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer, fall.
Bolam Pass Road, June 8, 2016 and Bear Creek Trail, June 14, 2005.

The accepted names for the Violas shown here have been shifted a number of times over the past decades. Based on the details given by the Flora of North America, I have determined that the photograph above shows V. rugulosa and the photographs at left show V. scopulorum, a more solitary and smaller plant in almost every aspect.

Flora of North America:

Viola canadensis var. scopulorum: Plants solitary, 3–14(–18) cm. Rhizomes not branched. Stems 1–3(–4). Leaves: basal: petiole 1.1–13.8 cm; blade ovate, 0.7–3.1 × 0.9–3.8 cm, base cordate to subcordate, margins crenate, irregularly crenulate, or serrulate; cauline: stipules oblong to broadly lanceolate, margins entire to erose, apex acute to long-acuminate, occasionally 2- or 3-fid or ± truncate; petiole 0.4–6 cm; blade ovate, 1.2–2.8 × 0.8–2.7 cm, base cordate to ± truncate, margins crenulate to serrulate, ciliate or eciliate. Peduncles1.2–2.9(–4.2) cm, sometimes glabrous below bracteoles. Flowers: lowest petal 5.5–13 mm. Capsules 2.5–5 mm.

Viola canadensis var. rugulosa: Plants forming colonies, 10–40(–60) cm. Rhizomes branched. Stems 1–3(–4). Leaves: basal: petiole 4.1–23 cm; blade broadly ovate to ovate-reniform, 1.9–12.4 × 2.1–11.1(–12.3) cm, base cordate, margins crenate, sometimes serrulate proximally; cauline: stipules lanceolate to deltate, margins entire to laciniate, apex acuminate; petiole 0.2–6.9(–15.2) cm; blade ovate, 2.9–7.7 × 1.8–7.8 cm, base cordate to ± truncate, margins crenate to ± serrulate, ciliate. Peduncles 1.2–5 cm. Flowers: lowest petal 10–20 mm; cleistogamous flowers sometimes absent. Capsules 6–10 mm, sometimes muriculate.

John Kartesz, ultimate authority for all names on this website, indicates that the accepted names of the two main species of white Violets in the Four Corners region are V. scopulorum and V. rugulosa.

V. canadensis is an eastern species, as the maps below indicate.

Whatever their scientific name is, these are common and appealing plants.

In early spring these Violets can be found in abundance in open meadows or in scattered patches in woodlands in the low to high mountains. The plants grow from an inch to twelve inches tall depending on growing conditions, and whatever the size, these Violets are easy to spot because of their bright white flowers.

As the photographs show, the flowers are often streaked and tinged with various colors, even on the back side.

In 1753 Linnaeus named Viola canadensis. A hundred years later Asa Gray named Viola canadensis variety scopulorum and then Edward Greene named Viola scopulorum.

"Scopulorum" is Latin for "rocky places", although this species is definitely not confined to rocky areas. It is often found in shady coves, streamsides, and moist forests.

"Rugulosa" is Latin for "somewhat wrinkled" and refers to the leaf surface.

Viola canadensis variety scopulorum

Viola canadensis variety scopulorum

Viola canadensis variety scopulorum

Viola scopulorum. Synonyms: Viola canadensis, Viola rydbergii. (White Violet)
Violaceae (Violet Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer, fall.
Bear Creek Trail, June 14, 2005 and Stoner Mesa Trail, June 18, 2010.

Flowers range from bright white to white tinged with considerable blue/pink.  The back side of the petals even more often has strong tinges of pink.


This is a native species.

Viola macluskeyi

Viola macloskeyi

Viola macluskeyi
Viola macloskeyi subspecies pallens.  Synonym: Viola palustris. (Macloskeyi's Violet)
Violaceae (Violet Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Wetlands. Spring, summer.
Above and left: Taylor Mesa, June 26, 2021.

Macloskey's Violet grows in spreading mats in wetlands but usually goes unnoticed because of its minute size, just 2-10 centimeters tall. As shown in these photographs the plant is at its smallest with flowers less than a centimeter across and leaves from to 3 centimeters across. The habitat is bogs, wet meadows, streamsides, and, as shown here, very soggy wetlands.

Macloskey's Violet spreads by stolons and the resulting mass of leaves makes it a bit easier to find the plant. If you poke your fingers into the mass of leaves, roots, and other debris at ground level, you will see that the plant is acaulescent, i.e., there is no stem for the leaves; they arise from ground level.

Francis LLoyd named this plant in 1895 from collections he made at the base of Mt. Hood in 1894. Although several floras and the Biota of North America Program indicate that V. macloskeyi should be divided into two subspecies (ssp. pallens and ssp. macloskeyi) the Flora of North America states that the latest research, "concluded that the differences have been exaggerated and fall within the range of variation of a single species".

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Viola canadensis

Range map for Viola canadensis

Viola macloskeyi

Range map for Viola macloskeyi

Viola macluskeyi

Range map for Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens

Viola rugulosa

Range map for Viola rugulosa

Viola scopulorum

Range map for Viola scopulorum