Viola lutea

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaViolaceaeViolaViola lutea


A perennial herb of grazed grassland on hill-slopes and banks, and on rock ledges. Although usually found on calcareous rocks, it is a mild calcifuge, preferring leached soil but avoiding very acidic sites; it also grows on metalliferous soils. In W. Ireland it occurs on coastal dunes. Mainly upland, reaching 1050 m (Breadalbanes, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

European Boreal-montane element, but absent from the Boreal zonobiome.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1281

Life form information

Height (cm): 20

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 536

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 18

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.69

Weighted Changed Factor: -59

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (55a)
Balme OE
1954.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 40. Viola lutea Huds. Journal of Ecology. 42:234-240.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.