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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Kidney-leaf White Violet - Viola renifolia

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3?
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 8

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from several dozen locations in western Montana.
General Description
Kidney-leaf White Violet lacks stems and rhizomes. The leaves and flower stalks arise from a short rootstock. The leaves have petioles that are 3-15 cm long and blades that are orbicular and broadly heart-shaped at the base, coarsely toothed, and 2-6 cm wide. The foliage is sparsely to heavily pubescent. The flower stalks are shorter than the leaves. Flowers are white and 10-15 mm long. Petals are glabrous within, and the lower three are lined with purple.

Lesica (2012) indicates that many plants only produce cleistogamous flowers (those that never open for pollination).

Flowering in June-July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Viola palustris and V. macloskeyi are white-flowered, stemless species that could occur in the same habitat, but both have stolons, unlike V. renifolia.

Species Range

Range Comments
BC to ME south to WA and CO (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 163

(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)

Swampy or boggy soil in forests in the montane zone.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens (Colla and Dumesh 2010, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Canne, J.M. 1987. Determinations of chromosome numbers in Viola (Violaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 65(4):653-655.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Nekola, J. C. 1990. Rare Iowa plant notes from the R. V. Drexler Herbarium. Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science 97(1): 55-73.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Kidney-leaf White Violet"
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Citation for data on this website:
Kidney-leaf White Violet — Viola renifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from