Great Basin Violet (Viola beckwitii)
The Great Basin Violet (Viola beckwithii), is a perennial dicot native to the basin and range region. It tends to live in sagebrush scrub, pinyon-juniper and yellow pine communities. Their growing season is form March through July and they tend to be among the first of the wildflowers I see each season.
Violas are gorgeous little plants. They have bright, cheery flowers that are bilaterally symmetrical--meaning they have a balanced distribution of duplicate parts along a plane. The flowers are two-tone with the upper two petals having a dark purple/maroon color and the lower three petals having light purple/white color with violet veins and yellow bases. The flowers perch atop leafless stalks growing from a low tuft of basal leaves. The gray/green leaves are deeply divided and somewhat fan shaped. And, since they appear early in the season, they are a lovely sight for eyes longing to see the bright colors of spring. I haven't seen one yet, but I know they'll soon be here, I can't wait!
The Great Basin Violet is also know as Beckwith's Violet.