Field violet

Viola arvensis Murr.

Life cycle

Prostrate to ascending winter annual.

field violet plant
Field violet plant.


Young leaves that develop from a basal rosette are round to oval with a few shallow teeth on the margins, long petioles and small stipules. Mature leaves are longer and narrower with round-toothed margins, hairy veins on the leaf underside and large, deeply lobed stipules. 


Prostrate to ascending, multi-branched stems are less than 16 inches long.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers have five white to pale yellow petals sometimes tinged with purple. The lower petal is the largest and the sepals are the same length as the petals or slightly longer. Fruit are single-celled capsules with three valves.

field violet flower
Field violet flower.



Similar weeds

Common blue violet (V. papilionacea Pursh) Differs by having a perennial nature with rhizomes; basal, hairless, heart-shaped leaves with round-toothed margins; and blue to purple to occasionally white flowers.

common blue violet flower common blue violet foliage
Common blue violet flower (left) and foliage (right).

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.