Information on Marsh Violet

Common Name: Marsh Violet
Scientific Name: Viola palustris
Irish Name: Sailchuach chorraigh
Family Group: Violaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Marsh Violet could sometimes be confused with:

Dog-violet, Early, Dog-violet, Common, Violet, Fen,

This is a distinctive member of the Violaceae family in that it is stemless. The flowers and rosettes of leaves all arise directly from creeping underground stolons or runners. The five-petalled, pale-lilac flowers (10-15 mm across) have dark veins and a blunt, pale spur, the petals being rounded. There is no scent from these flowers. The hairless, kidney or heart-shaped leaves have long stalks and oval-shaped stipules at their bases. Blooming from April to July, this is a perennial plant. It grows to 15 cm high and is found throughout Ireland in acid bogs, marshy ground and damp woodland. Marsh Violet is a native plant. 

I first recorded this plant on the Ridge of Capard in the Slieve Bloom mountains, County Laois in April, 2011. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Violet, Marsh
Violet, Marsh

The beautiful, rare Pearl-bordered Fritillary, a butterfly which, in Ireland, is only found in Counties Clare and Galway, uses the Marsh Violet as primal nectar plant.

In his ‘Flora of the County Dublin’ of 1904, Nathaniel Colgan wrote that Marsh Violet was to be found in ‘mountain bogs and marshes, and in “freestone” beds of mountain rills and runnels’