Violets are little bright spots to be found on the dark forest floor early in the Spring. They are one of the flowers I have enjoyed for many years along the trail deep in the woods on early spring hikes. Featured below are a trio of violets that I have enjoyed in the last week or so.
This was the first violet that caught my attention this Spring. I noticed it at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve on the 25th of February. After spending some time with quide books to identify it I learned that it is classified as an alien, or non-native plant. Most of the leaves in the photo close to the flower actually belong to Shinyleaf Geranium, with the single violet leaf showing on the far right. Notice the two upper and middle petals are twisted, while the lower center petal is flat.
McCloskey's is some times called Tiny White Violet. It is a native, however not so common. This is the first year I recall ever noticing it. I found it at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve on March 3rd. Notice the two upper petals are reflexed backward, while the middle two are turned downward.
The Wood Violet, also called Stream Violet is our most common native violet. I photographed this one on March 3rd along the trail at Darrow Bar Access - Willamette River Greenway. I still remember the first time I photographed this species over 40 years ago while on a family backpacking trip on French Pete Creek Trail.