Viola hirta

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaViolaceaeViolaViola hirta


A perennial herb, occurring mainly on calcareous soils, and found in short grassland or open scrub on downland, rocky slopes, limestone pavement, woodland borders and rides, and sometimes on base-flushed but more acidic riverside substrates; also on roadsides and railway banks. Generally lowland, but reaching 610 m on Long Fell (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 795

Life form information

Height (cm): 15

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Clonality - secondary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Comment on Clonality

Slow vegetative spread by branching rhizome (CPE)

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 964

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 19

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.46

Weighted Changed Factor: -12

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.