Viola novae-angliae
New England violet

Key Characteristics

Small forb of riverbanks and wet-mesic sand prairies; stemless, with narrowly heart-shaped leaves, hairy petioles; flower blue, with sepals not minutely fringed.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Viola novae-angliae

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.


New England violet occurs primarily in low open ground with exposed limestone along rivers in the Upper Peninsula. In northern Lower Michigan, it is found in wet-mesic sand prairies in small to large swales within pine barrens complexes.

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

Mat muhly, Cooper's milk-vetch, veiny meadow-rue, bulrush sedge, wild grass, wild chives, butterwort, and northern spikemoss. In mesic sand prairies, it may grow with Red oak, jack pine, black cherry, sand cherry, shrubby cinquefoil, pale spike lobelia, slender wheatgrass, Indian paintbrush, low sweet blueberry, meadow-sweet, poverty grass, hairy goldenrod, leatherleaf, Houghton's goldenrod, Vasey's rush, long-leaved aster, Clinton's bulrush, sweet fern, big bluestem, switch grass.


To protect this species, maintain moderately open woodlands via selective logging. Certain human disturbances, if they do not disturb the soil chemistry or strongly shade sites, may enhance the vigor and viability of a given population. Protection of hydrology, even if the water table is not evident at the surface, is also like to be critical.

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 24, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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