WATER VIOLET

Hottonia palustris

Primrose Family [Primulaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8lilac
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZtieredwhorls
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZheterostylous

20th May 2012, Gold Valley Nature Reserve, Hampshire. Photo: © Earl Spencer
An aquatic that grows in shallow water, aerial stems about 30cm. Overall length up to 1m, nodes rooting underwater.


20th May 2012, Gold Valley Nature Reserve, Hampshire. Photo: © Earl Spencer
A short well-spaced spike of flowers which could be described as tiered whorls of about five flowers per whorl.


20th May 2012, Gold Valley Nature Reserve, Hampshire. Photo: © Earl Spencer
Flowers on an erect longish stalk.


20th May 2012, Gold Valley Nature Reserve, Hampshire. Photo: © Earl Spencer
 Pin flowers. Flowers 15-25mm across and with five petals, each petal being longer than the sepal tube.


20th May 2012, Gold Valley Nature Reserve, Hampshire. Photo: © Earl Spencer
 Pin flowers. Petals have rounded ends and a slight nick and are white near the centre and lilac further out with a deep yellow centre.


12th June 2013, Anglesey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
 Pin flowers. Petals patent (projecting outwards over a subtended angle of ±180°)


19th Aug 2013, Knepp, West Sussex. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Leaves floating.


19th Aug 2013, Knepp, West Sussex. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Leaves in a whorl, of sorts. They are flattish and pinnate with linear lobes set at a forward angle.


19th Aug 2013, Knepp, West Sussex. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Some leaflets are forked (centre top).


Not to be semantically confused with : Violets or Dog-Violets such as Common Dog-Violet (Viola riviniana) [plants with similar names but belonging to a totally different family (Violaceae)] - which have bi-lateral (zygomorphic) symmetry rather than radial symmetry. Nor with Dame's-Violet (Hesperis matronalis), a Cabbage Family plant.

Slight resemblance to : Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) which also grows in shallow fresh water with similar colour flowers and the same number (five) of petals, but which grows mainly north of Lancaster rather than south) and belongs to the Bellflower Family (Campanulaceae),

Superficial resemblance to : Narrow-leaved Water-plantain (Alisma lanceolata) and to Flowering-Rush (Butomus umbellatus), aquatic plants which have similar coloured flowers but only three petals.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

The leaves resemblance those of another aquatic plant, Parrot's Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), but there the leaflets are not as wide.

No relation to : Violets such as Common Dog-Violet (Viola riviniana) [plants with similar names but are in a differing family, the  Violet Family Violaceae].

Genus name not to be semantically confused with that of: Houttuynia which are Chameleons.

Grows in shallow, clear and calm fresh-water such as ponds and ditches often in-accessible to close photography. Most aquatic plants have but three petals, not so Water Violet with five. Distrubution mainly south of Lancaster. The only plant in the Hottonia Genus (at least in the UK). All leaves are submerged, pinnate and in whorls. The plant is up to a metre in length, or more, half under-water, rooting at the nodes, hence is able to colonize large areas, but slowly rather than rampantly. It is native to the UK.

It is Heterostylous, where the flowers, although bisexual, come in two types, thrum and pin. The pin form has a long style and short stamens, the thrum form is the reverse of that.


  Hottonia palustris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Primulaceae  

Distribution
 family8Primrose family8Primulaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Hottonia
Hottonia
(Water-Violet)

WATER VIOLET

Hottonia palustris

Primrose Family [Primulaceae]