Hybrid Violet on an arable field

hybrid violet
Hybrid Violet (Viola x contempta)  Photo: Jo Parmenter

Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor), which as the name suggests has flowers of purple, yellow and white, grew quite commonly across East Anglia as a plant of open short-sward grassland on light sandy soils.   When it came into contact with the little yellow and white annual field pansy, Viola arvensis, they hybridised. The progeny is this plant, Viola x contempta. It gets its large multi-coloured flowers from the V. tricolor parent and the purple colour on the arch of the flower stalk from V. arvensis.

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Hybrid Violet (Viola x contempta)  Photo: Jo Parmenter

If you want to find it, go to an area with sandy soils and check out the arable field margins – you are looking for a little pansy with blue or purple splotches on the petals and petals about as long as the sepals.

Jo Parmenter