Beckwith's Violet

Scientific Name:

Viola beckwithii

Type:

Herbaceous Plant

Habitat:

Sagebrush scrub (especially rocky areas) and open pinewoods

Range:

California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah

Status:

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Beckwith’s violet is easy to identify; it has bi-colored flowers and highly dissected leaves. It is a low growing plant and so you have to look down to see it. The flowers have 5 petals, the upper two petals are usually purple, the lower three petals are paler with a yellow inner area and nectar guides.

Fast Facts:

  • Beckwith’s violets are one of the first flowers to be seen in the sagebrush scrub as they bloom from March to May.

  • Beckwith's violets are also known the Great Basin violets or and sagebrush pansies.

  • The species name commemorates Edward Griffin Beckwith (1818-1881), a soldier who was employed in the Pacific Railroad reconnaissance in 1853-54.

  • Beckwith’s violets can be seen in Huffaker Park, along Lower Thomas Creek Trail, as well as various other locations around Reno.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Emma Wynn (research, content, and photos)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

May 12, 2021, 6:18:45 PM