Not to be semantically confused with :
Dog Rose (
Rosa canina) nor with Dog's Mercury (
Mercurianis perennis), nor with Dame's-Violet
(Hesperis matronalis), a Cabbage Family plant nor with Water Violet (Hottonia palustris) nor Dog's-Tooth-Violet (Erythronium dens-canis) a member of the Lily Family.
Easily mistaken for : other Violets and Dog-violets (see captions for differentiation)
Hybridizes with :
Your Author does not know if any of the above photos might be of any hybrids.
Teesdale Violet (Viola rupestris) to produce
Viola × burnatti which is found with the parents in Upper Teesdale, County Durham and is intermediate in most characteristics. It is sterile.
- Early Dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana) to produce
Viola × bavarica which has sepal appendages (to be found at the rear of the sepal) which are intermediate in length. It occurs only rarely where both parents are found. Nearly all are sterile.
Heath Dog-violet (Viola canina) to produce
Viola × intersita is intermediate in leaf characteristics and habit. Found scattered on heaths and dunes where the parents cohabit. It is sterile.
Pale Dog-violet (Viola lactea) to produce
Viola × lambertii occurs frequently where Pale Dog-violet occurs and is intermediate in leaf and flower characteristics and in habit. Nearly all are sterile.
Some similarities to : several Pansies to which they are closely related but they are usually much taller and bushier except for Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea).
A feature of Common Dog-violet is that the basal rosette of leaves lacks a flower stalk, which is somewhere else nearby and has its own leaves on the flower-stalk. It is a native perennial growing in from sea level to 1075m high in the UK. It is common in woodland preferring a half-shady place, but is also found in hedgebanks, grassland, heathland, moorland and even on shingle amidst other plants and grasses, on rocks and cliff edges. Grows on all but the most acidic soils (such as peat-bogs). The notch in the very pale spur is also an identifying feature (but that may be present in the hybrids above also). It is only sparsely hairy if at all.
It can sometimes flower twice in a season, the second time, around July to October but usually lacking petals or failing to open, pollinating itself in the bud.