Viola epipsila
Northern marsh violet

Key Characteristics

Small forb of boreal forests in Keweenaw County; stemless, with broadly heart-shaped hairless leaves with coarse, scalloped teeth; flowers blue with a hairless spurred petal and sepals somewhat oblong and abruptly rounded at the tip.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G4G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Viola epipsila

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


In Michigan, this species is known only from rich moist woods on Manitou Island, adjacent to the eastern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Balsam fir, black spruce, paper birch, speckled alder, bunchberry, mountain maple, wild sarsaparilla, bluebead lily, and starflower.


A status survey is recommended for this somewhat obscure species, which may also occur on the Keweenaw Peninsula mainland and possibly elsewhere in the western Upper Peninsula. Where found, protection of hydrology and maintenance of the forest canopy is likely to be important.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 22, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

Facebook link