Hairy violet

Amanda Graham

Hairy violet

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Scientific name: Viola hirta
Living up to its name, the hairy violet is covered in fine hairs. Look for its delicate, violet flowers blooming from March to June on chalk grasslands, in particular.

Top facts


Height: up to 15cm

Conservation status


When to see

March to June


The hairy violet is a low-growing, perennial species that is mainly found on chalk grassland, but can be seen along woodland edges, roadside verges and railway embankments, as well as on limestone pavements. It flowers early in the year, between March and June, displaying distinctive, violet-like flowers.

What to look for

The hairy violet is covered in fine hairs, giving it a greyish appearance. It has heart-shaped leaves and five-petalled, violet flowers.

Where to find

Widespread, except for Northern Scotland and West Wales.

Did you know?

The hairy violet is the food plant of the caterpillars of the dark green and high brown fritillary butterflies.