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Beckwith's Violet

Scientific Name:

Viola beckwithii


Herbaceous Plant


Sagebrush scrub (especially rocky areas) and open pinewoods


California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah


Apparently Secure (NatureServe)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Beckwith’s violet is easy to identify; it has bi-colored flowers and highly dissected leaves. It is a low growing plant and so you have to look down to see it. The flowers have 5 petals, the upper two petals are usually purple, the lower three petals are paler with a yellow inner area and nectar guides.

Fast Facts:

  • Beckwith’s violets are one of the first flowers to be seen in the sagebrush scrub as they bloom from March to May.

  • Beckwith's violets are also known the Great Basin violets or and sagebrush pansies.

  • The species name commemorates Edward Griffin Beckwith (1818-1881), a soldier who was employed in the Pacific Railroad reconnaissance in 1853-54.

  • Beckwith’s violets can be seen in Huffaker Park, along Lower Thomas Creek Trail, as well as various other locations around Reno.



Emma Wynn (research, content, and photos)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

May 12, 2021 at 6:18:45 PM

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