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Green Violet (Hybanthus concolor)

Life history

Species overview

Green Violet (Hybanthus concolor), a plant, is found in mesic hardwood forests. Blooming occurs early May through early June; fruiting occurs early June through early October. The optimal identification period for this species is early June through early October.

Synonyms: Viola concolor, Cubelium concolor


  • Distinguishing characteristics: Flowers greenish-white, tiny (4 to 5 mm), solitary to several on recurved peduncles in leaf axils; leaves broadly elliptic, abruptly acuminate at the tip and tapering to slender petioles at the base.
  • Flower characteristics: Flowers greenish-white, 4 to 5 mm, solitary or several in the axils on strongly recurved peduncles jointed beyond the middle; sepals linear, nearly as long as the petals.
  • Fruit characteristics: Fruit oblong-ellipsoid, 1.5 to 2 cm; seeds 5 mm.
  • Leaf characteristics: Alternate, broadly elliptic to ovate-oblong, 7 to 16 cm long, margins entire, abruptly tapering to a sharp point at the tip, and tapering to slender petioles (1 to 2 cm long) at the base.


  • Blooming phenology: early May through early June
  • Fruiting phenology: early June through early October
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is early June through early October


  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Acer saccharum, Quercus rubra, Ribes sp., Berberis thunbergii, Rubus sp., Xanthoxylum americanum.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

Green Violet (Hybanthus concolor) is on the "watch list." Watch list species have experienced, or are believed to have experienced, a statewide or range wide decline, but they are not currently tracked in the Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) database. The watch list includes newly discovered species for which origin and rarity need to be determined, certain animals designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, and species that were tracked in the past but proved more abundant, widespread or less vulnerable than previously thought. Although watch list species are not actively tracked by NHI, occurrences documented during surveys are often stored by NHI, as these species could be tracked in the future if there is further evidence of their decline.

Summary Information
State Statusnone
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankSH
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIW

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in mesic hardwood forests.
  • Soils: Rich soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Green Violet. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Green Violet. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Ecological landscape score

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
  • Avoid locating landings, staging areas, or access routes on or near known populations.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Maintain high forest canopy cover; this species requires shaded habitat conditions.


Green Violet Photo.

The last Wisconsin observation of green violet was from a rich hardwood forest in Grant County by UW-Madison botanist Hugh Iltis in 1959. Recent searches have failed to relocate historical populations or reveal any new ones.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Green Violet Photo.

Photo © John Kohout.

Green Violet Photo.

Photo © Robert H. Read.

Green Violet Photo.

Photo © John Kohout.

Green Violet Photo.

Photo by Ryan O'Connor, Wisconsin DNR.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition