Fact Sheets


Viola arvensis Murray

Family :

Famille :


Synonym(s) :

Synonyme(s) :

Viola tricolor subsp. arvensis

Common Name(s) :

Nom(s) commun(s) :

Field violet

  • Field violet (Viola arvensis) seeds

  • Field violet (Viola arvensis) seed

  • Field violet (Viola arvensis) seed

  • Field violet (Viola arvensis) seeds

  • Field violet (Viola arvensis) capsule (opened)

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Regulation :

Remarques Réglementation:

  • Quarantine lists of countries e.g. India *may be updated without notice

Regulation Notes:

On quarantine lists of countries e.g. India*.

*Quarantine lists of countries may be updated without notice.

Distribution :

Répartition :

This species is native to Europe and parts of western Asia and northern Africa (USDA-ARS 2017). It was introduced to eastern Asia (Taiwan), Australia, New Zealand, North America and South America (Bolivia, Ecuador) (efloras 2017; USDA-ARS 2017). In the United States, it is present in most eastern as well as Pacific states, being most common in north-eastern states (USDA-ARS 2017).

Habitat and Crop Association :

Habitat et Cultures Associées :

Field violet occurs in annually disturbed areas, cultivated fields, pastures, lawns and roadsides (Doohan and Monaco 1992; Darbyshire 2003).

Economic Use, cultivation area, and Weed Association :

Utilisation économique, zone de culture et association de mauvaises herbes :

Duration of Life Cycle :

Durée du cycle vital:


Dispersal Unit Type :

Type d’unité de dispersion :


General Information


Many factors make this species problematic in cultivated fields including: being self -fertile, prolific seed production, extended seed longevity, extended emergence, partial shade tolerance and herbicide tolerance (Doohan and Monaco 1992).




  • Seed


    • Seed length: 1.3 – 2.1 mm (average: 1.7 mm); width: 0.7 – 1.0 mm (average: 0.8 mm)


    • Seed is egg-shaped and circular in cross-section

    Surface Texture

    • Seed surface is slightly wrinkled


    • Slightly shiny yellow to medium brown with pale tissue at one end, and a darker longitudinal raphe
    • The broad end of the seed has a dark spot

Identification Tips


Additional Botany Information


Similar Species


Similar species are based on a study of seed morphology of various species, and those with similar dispersal units are identified. The study is limited by physical specimen and literature availability at the time of examination, and possibly impacted by the subjectivity of the authors based on their knowledge and experience. Providing similar species information for seed identification is to make users aware of similarities that could possibly result in misidentification.

Viola tricolor (wild pansy)

Wild pansy seeds are a similar narrow ovate shape, wrinkled surface, yellow to medium brown colour with a dark raphe and pale tissue at the narrow end.
Wild pansy seeds are generally larger (average length: 1.9 mm; average width: 0.9 mm) and the surface tends to be bubbled. The rest of the seed features are similar when compared to field violet.

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Darbyshire, S. J. 2003. Inventory of Canadian Agricultural Weeds. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch. Ottawa, ON.

Doohan D.J. and Monaco, T.J. 1992. The Biology of Canadian weeds. 99. Viola arvensis Murr. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 72: 187-201.

eFloras. 2017. Electronic Floras. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA., http://www.efloras.org Accessed August 25, 2017.

Flora of North America (FNA) Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico [Online]. 22+ vols. New York and Oxford.  Accessed December 29, 2022.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat. 2022. https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei Accessed via https://www.gbif.org/species/5331235 Accessed December 29, 2022.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch Accessed April 25, 2017.



Jennifer Neudorf, Angela Salzl, Ruojing Wang, Karen Castro, Katrina Entwistle

Canadian Food Inspection Agency