Scientific Classifications explained
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Scientific Name: Viola riviniana
Common Name: Common Dog Violet
Viola riviniana, more commonly known as Common Dog Violet, is most often found on short, grazed calcareous turf and limestone scree. It is a perennial, which flowers from April to June. In lowland Britain it is more commonly a woodland species, but is also found on wasteland, river banks and rocky outcrops.
Its leaves are heart-shaped with rounded teeth and are usually hairless. It has 2 slender bracts, 6 sepals, spear shaped and lobed at the base and 5 overlapping petals with a backward-pointing spur. The plant is an early nectar source for butterflies and is the larval host plant for a range of Fritillary butterflies, including the Small Pearl-Bordered, the Pearl-Bordered and the Silver-Washed Fritillaries.
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