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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Field Violet

Scientific Name: Viola arvensis Murr.

Other Names: violette des champs, European field pansy, Field pansy, Wild pansy, pensée des champs

Family: Violet Family (Violaceae)

General Description: Annual or possibly living for two years, reproducing only by seed.

Habitat: Field violet occurs throughout most of Ontario in gardens, cereal crops, pastures, abandoned fields and waste places.


  • Leaves are very small
  • Long stalks
  • Rounded blades
  • A few shallow teeth
  • Very small stipules


  • Erect and short or much-branched and somewhat spreading
  • Up to 30 cm (12 in.) long
  • Somewhat fleshy or succulent
  • With or without fine hair


  • Alternate (1 per node)
  • Larger
  • Oval to oblong or nearly linear
  • All with a few coarse rounded teeth
  • Stipules (appendages at junction of leafstalk and stem):
    • Large, resembling leaf blades
    • Deeply dissected with long thin, terminal lobe and several, narrow, shorter segments on either side


  • Flowers on long thin stalks form axils of leaves
  • Pale yellow or white and yellow,
  • Resembling those of the cultivated pansy but much smaller
  • About 1- 1.5 cm (2/5- 3/5 in.) long
  • Very short spur (2 mm, 1/12 in.) at the base of the lower petal
  • Seedpods splitting into 3 divisions and scattering numerous, small, brownish seeds
  • Flowers from early May to midsummer and occasionally in autumn

Often Confused With
Field Pansy (Field pansy’s petals are 3 times longer than the sepals, field violet’s petals are the same length or shorter than its sepals.)

Field violet Field violet flower Field violet seed pod Field violet rosette Field violet leaf
Click to enlarge.