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Teesdale Violet

Viola rupestris

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Violaceae (Violet)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, mountains, rocky places, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
Pale blue nodding flowers but occasionally white, such as at Arnside Knott in North Lancashire.
A 3-parted capsule. The Teesdale Violet is actually classified as a Dog Violet and is our only Dog Violet with hairy fruit.
Blunt-tipped, kidney-shaped, stalked leaves with round-toothed margins. The Teesdale Violet is hairy all over. Similar to Common Dog Violet but with more shovel-shaped leaves and hairs that point backwards.
Other Names:
Heath Violet, Mountain Violet, Rock Violet.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Viola rupestris is a species of violet in the family Violaceae. It is also known as the Rock violet, heath violet or mountain violet. It is native to Europe and Asia and is a perennial plant that typically grows in rocky or gravelly soils. The plant has small, bright yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It is a low-growing plant and typically reaches a height of about 5-10cm. It is often used in rock gardens and as ground cover. This plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Some cultivars have been developed for garden use.


Teesdale Violet: A Delicate Beauty of the Wildflower World

Teesdale Violet, scientifically known as Viola rupestris, is a delicate wildflower native to the limestone habitats of Northern England. This beautiful wildflower is known for its charming, deep purple flowers and its ability to thrive in harsh, rocky environments.

Teesdale Violet is a member of the Violaceae family and is a close relative of the more common garden violet. However, unlike its cousin, Teesdale Violet is a rare and endangered species. It is considered one of the rarest and most beautiful wildflowers in the United Kingdom and is protected under UK law.

The flowers of Teesdale Violet are typically a deep purple color and have five petals. They grow on delicate stems and bloom in the spring, from April to June. The leaves of Teesdale Violet are heart-shaped and have a velvety texture, adding to its delicate beauty.

Teesdale Violet is a resilient plant, able to survive in challenging environments where other plants struggle to thrive. It grows in rocky, limestone habitats and is often found growing in cracks and crevices in rocks and cliffs. This makes it a popular plant for rock gardens and wildflower gardens, where its beauty can be appreciated in a controlled environment.

Despite its resilience, Teesdale Violet is facing a number of threats to its survival. The destruction of its natural habitats and the increasing use of limestone for building purposes are just two of the many threats it faces. In order to protect this rare and beautiful wildflower, it is important that we take steps to preserve its natural habitats and to encourage its growth in wildflower gardens.

Teesdale Violet is a beautiful and delicate wildflower that is an important part of our natural heritage. With its deep purple flowers and ability to thrive in harsh environments, Teesdale Violet is a plant that deserves to be protected and appreciated. Whether you're a gardener or simply appreciate the beauty of wildflowers, Teesdale Violet is a plant that is sure to captivate your heart and imagination.

In addition to its beauty and resilience, Teesdale Violet has a number of other interesting and unique characteristics that make it a fascinating plant to learn about. Here are a few more interesting facts about Teesdale Violet:

  • Teesdale Violet is a perennials plant, which means that it can live for several years and comes back every spring to bloom.

  • The plant is not just pretty, it also has a sweet fragrance that is highly attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This helps to ensure the survival of the plant by aiding in its pollination.

  • The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It was believed to have soothing properties and was used to treat a number of ailments, including headaches and digestive problems.

  • Teesdale Violet is a slow-growing plant, which makes it a valuable addition to gardens that are looking for low-maintenance plants. It is ideal for rock gardens and wildflower gardens, where it can be appreciated for its delicate beauty without taking up too much space.

  • The plant is hardy and can survive in a variety of different conditions, including drought and frost. This makes it a valuable plant for gardeners who live in areas with harsh weather conditions.

  • Teesdale Violet is a great plant for attracting wildlife to your garden. In addition to its attraction to pollinators such as bees and butterflies, the plant is also a favorite food source for several species of birds, including the blue tit and the long-tailed tit.

Teesdale Violet is a fascinating and beautiful wildflower that has a lot to offer to both gardeners and nature lovers alike. With its delicate beauty, sweet fragrance, and ability to thrive in harsh environments, it is a plant that is well worth learning more about. So, whether you're looking to add a new plant to your garden or simply want to appreciate the beauty of nature, Teesdale Violet is a plant that is sure to capture your heart and imagination.

Teesdale Violet is not only a beautiful and resilient plant, it is also a valuable part of the ecosystem. Here are a few more reasons why Teesdale Violet is an important species to protect and appreciate:

  • Biodiversity: Teesdale Violet is just one of many wildflowers that make up the rich biodiversity of the limestone habitats it inhabits. By protecting Teesdale Violet and its natural habitats, we are also helping to protect the many other species that depend on these habitats for survival.

  • Endemic Species: Teesdale Violet is an endemic species, meaning it is native to a specific geographic region and is found nowhere else in the world. This makes it a valuable species for scientists and conservationists, who are working to protect the world's endemic species from extinction.

  • Cultural Significance: Teesdale Violet has a long cultural history and is an important part of the local folklore and traditions of Northern England. For example, it is said that the plant was used by locals to treat a variety of ailments and that it was believed to bring good luck to those who saw it in bloom.

  • Educational Opportunities: Teesdale Violet provides a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about botany, ecology, and conservation. Whether you're a school child, a university student, or simply someone who loves nature, Teesdale Violet can help you to deepen your understanding of the natural world.

  • Landscape Enhancement: Teesdale Violet is a beautiful plant that adds color and beauty to the landscapes in which it grows. By planting Teesdale Violet in your garden or preserving its natural habitats, you can help to enhance the beauty of your local environment.

Teesdale Violet is much more than just a beautiful wildflower. It is a valuable species that provides important ecological, cultural, and educational benefits. By learning more about Teesdale Violet and taking steps to protect it and its natural habitats, we can help to ensure the survival of this remarkable plant for generations to come.

Teesdale Violet, or Viola rupestris, is a plant species that is not only visually stunning but also ecologically important. Here are a few more facts about this remarkable species:

  • Range: Teesdale Violet is primarily found in the limestone hills and uplands of Northern England and Scotland, although it is also found in small populations in other parts of the UK and in Europe.

  • Habitat: Teesdale Violet is adapted to grow in limestone habitats, including grasslands, rocky outcrops, and cliff faces. It is particularly well-suited to growing in shallow soils and in areas with low levels of nutrients, making it an important plant for colonizing challenging habitats.

  • Threats: Teesdale Violet and its natural habitats are under threat from a variety of sources, including habitat destruction, climate change, and competition from invasive species. As a result, Teesdale Violet is considered to be a vulnerable species and is protected by law in the UK and other countries.

  • Conservation Efforts: There are several efforts underway to protect Teesdale Violet and its habitats, including habitat restoration projects, conservation grazing programs, and the creation of new protected areas. These efforts are helping to ensure the survival of Teesdale Violet and its associated habitats for future generations.

  • Appreciation: Teesdale Violet is a plant that is greatly appreciated by both botanists and nature lovers alike. Its delicate beauty and sweet fragrance make it a popular subject for photography and art, and its resilience and ability to thrive in harsh environments make it an inspiration for those who love nature.

Teesdale Violet is a remarkable species that deserves our protection and appreciation. By learning more about this plant, we can better understand its importance and take steps to protect it for future generations to enjoy. So, if you have the opportunity to see Teesdale Violet in the wild or in a garden, take a moment to appreciate this beautiful and resilient wildflower.

Teesdale Violet is a species with many fascinating and unique characteristics. Here are a few more interesting facts about this plant:

  • Bloom Time: Teesdale Violet blooms in late spring and early summer, typically from May to June. During this time, its brilliant blue flowers can be seen in its natural habitats and in gardens where it is cultivated.

  • Size: Teesdale Violet is a small plant, typically growing to be between 5 and 15 cm tall. Its leaves are green, heart-shaped, and up to 5 cm in length.

  • Pollination: Teesdale Violet is pollinated primarily by bees and other insects. Its flowers are brightly colored and produce nectar, making them an attractive food source for pollinators.

  • Seed Dispersal: Teesdale Violet's seeds are dispersed by the wind, and can travel long distances from their parent plant. This makes it a resilient species that is well-adapted to colonizing new habitats.

  • Ecological Role: Teesdale Violet plays an important role in the ecosystems where it grows. By providing habitat and food for pollinators, it helps to support the food chain and contributes to the health of the ecosystem.

  • Ornamental Use: Teesdale Violet is sometimes grown in gardens as an ornamental plant. It is an attractive and low-maintenance plant that is well-suited to rock gardens and other habitats with similar growing conditions.

In conclusion, Teesdale Violet is a species with many interesting and unique characteristics. By learning more about this plant, we can better understand its importance and take steps to protect it and its habitats. Whether you're a botanist, a nature lover, or simply someone who appreciates beauty, Teesdale Violet is a plant that is definitely worth learning about.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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