The following field report was submitted by Jim Vanderhorst.

A species of violets new to the Mountain State was recently discovered by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources ecologists. The plant, known as the prostrate blue violet (viola walteri), was found growing on limestone in forests and woodlands around Germany Valley, Pendleton County.

The prostrate blue violet may be found growing across the southeastern United States in moist, deciduous woodlands. Its distinct purple flower blooms in February or March.

Violet 1

The prostrate blue violet was found growing in Pendleton County. Photo by Jim Vanderhorst.

The prostrate blue violet will now be tracked by DNR’s Natural Heritage Program. It will be given a conservation rank of S1 (Critically Imperiled) because DNR knows of only this one population in the state.

If you are interested in learning more about this species of violet call 304-637-0245.