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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Nuttall's Violet - Viola nuttallii
Other Names:  Viola praemorsa, Viola vallicola

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Common in open habitats across most of the state.
General Description
Glabrous to sparsely puberulent without horizontal rhizomes or stolons. Stems mostly subterranean, the aerial portion 2–8 cm. Leaf blades 1–10 cm long, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, entire to remotely crenulate, the base long-tapered to truncate; stipules adnate to stem. Flowers 8–15 mm long, yellow; upper petals brownish on back; the lower 3 with purple lines; spur ca. 1 mm long; style tip hairy. Capsule 6–9 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety nuttallii, praemorsa (Douglas ex Lindl.) S. Watson, or vallicola (A. Nelson) H. St. John.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
BC to MN, south to CA, NM and KS (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 397

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Grasslands meadows, steppe; plains, valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Chadde, S.W. 1985. Initial recovery patterns of southwestern Montana foothill range. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Nuttall's Violet — Viola nuttallii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from