Water Violet - Hottonia palustris

Scientific Name: Hottonia palustris (Primulaceae).

English Name: Water Violet (Primrose family).

French Name: Hottonie des marais (='marsh hottonia'); millefeuille aquatique (='aquatic thousand leaf') or millefeuille d'eau (='water thousand leaf').

Photographed in the drawdown zone of the Etang de la Rolle in the Foret de Preuilly, June 2011, during a drought. Identified by Jean Bouton of l'Association de botanique et de mycologie de Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine.
5 Key Characters:
  • whorls of fine feathery submerged leaves .
  • flattened leaflets.
  • whorls of flowers on long erect spikes (up to 40 cm) from floating stems.
  • flowers white blushed pink to pale lilac pink.
  • flowers 2 cm across with 5 lobes and bright orange yellow centres.
Lookalikes: Leaves could be mistaken for a Water Milfoil Myriophyllum spp, but Water Milfoils have leaflets that are round in section.

Habitat: Ponds, marshes and ditches with still basic water.

Flowering Period: May-June-July.

Status: Very rare and protected. Where you find Water Violet you may also find the Hairy Hawker dragonfly, as they like the same type of forest ponds.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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