Marsh violet

Marsh Violet

©Philip Precey

Marsh violet

Scientific name: Viola palustris
As its name suggests, the Marsh violet likes damp spots, such as marshes, bogs and wet woods. It is a low-growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and pale lilac flowers.

Species information


Height: up to 10cm

Conservation status


When to see

April to July


The Marsh violet, also known as the 'Bog violet', is a relative of the well-known pansy and likes damp and acidic places, such as wet woodlands, bogs and marshes. It flowers between April and July and makes a good addition to the garden at the edge of a pond or in a bog garden.

How to identify

Flat, green and heavily veined, the kidney-shaped leaves of the Marsh violet grow out from the base of the plant. Pale lilac flowers that resemble washed-out pansies hang on tall stalks that sprout from the centre of the plant.


Widespread in the north and west of the UK, local in the south and east, and very rare in Central England.

Did you know?

The Marsh violet is the foodplant of the Small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly which is a priority species under the UK Post-2010 biodiversity framework because it is declining.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.