poetry and prose about place

Northern White Violet (Viola pallens (Banks) Brainerd.)

with 4 comments

Yesterday, we had our first dusting of snow and it persisted on the grass until the evening.  It reminded me of some of those low white summer flowers whose petals look like snow when they bloom in masses on the lawn or in a field.  In any season, the sight of ‘snow’ can be a charming, welcome sight.

The northern white violet, or small white violet (Viola pallens (Banks) Brainerd.) inhabits the moist ground of meadows, bogs and thickets, and it blooms profusely on our front lawn.  Pallens means pale, referring to the color of the flowers.  The leaves are somewhat heart-shaped. 

The violets are a difficult group, taxonomically. Viola pallens is also known as Viola macloskeyi Lloyd.


Northern White Violet

                        Viola pallens (Banks) Brainerd.


stars in the northern meadow

scattered at the feet

of cattle grazing hay

violet sweet


hearts among the grasses

where the ground is wet

flowers pale and nodding

small white violet

Published as: ‘Northern White Violet’, April 2005, Refuge 14 (1)


© Jane Tims  2005

Written by jane tims

November 19, 2011 at 7:27 am

4 Responses

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  1. Beautiful drawing and poem Jane. “I” like the highlighted darkness. Makes the plant jump right out at you. I also like the intro to your poem. Well done.



    November 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    • Hi. Thanks for the comment. Background is sometimes a difficult choice in drawing. Jane


      jane tims

      November 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

      • I’ve sometimes thought that the three most important things in a picture are background, background, background. That’s overstating the case, but there’s some truth in it.

        I’m not familiar with white violets, but I’ve observed than many purple flowers have white variants.

        Steve Schwartzman


        Steve Schwartzman

        November 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm

  2. Simply beautiful, Jane. 🙂



    November 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

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