Plant: small perennial shrub; 13-40 cm tall; stems erect, leafy, often many branched from a slightly woody base, glabrous to strigose or pilose Leaves: stipules 3-40 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, leaf-like, but smaller, linear to lanceolate, glabrous to hirsute, gland-tipped; petioles none to ca. 1 mm long; blades 1.5-5 cm long, 1.5-8 mm wide, linear, lanceolate to oblanceolate, glabrous to pubescent; tip acute; margins usually entire, ciliate or not; lower and upper leaves alternate INFLORESCENCE: flowers 1 in leaf axil, the pedicels 0.7-1.4 cm long, hirsute to densely pubescent, erect, horizontal, or usually pendant Flowers: sepals ovate to lanceolate, with midrib often slightly inflated and forming a keel, entire to ciliate, 1.5-3 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide at base; petals greenish white or yellowish with purple tips, the lower petals 2.5-6 mm long, spatulate, the tip 1-3 mm wide above a median constriction, this 0.5 mm wide, the petal base 1-2 mm wide, glabrous to short-pilose on both surfaces; lateral petals ca. 3 mm long, purple-tinged; upper petals ca. 2-3 mm long, purple-tipped. Presence of cleistogamous flowers not determined Fruit: FRUITS 4-6 mm long, globose to ovoid, usually short-beaked, glabrous; SEEDS usually 6 per capsule, globose to somewhat flattened with angular edges, dark brown to shiny black; caruncle white to cream, hood shaped Misc: Dry plains and mesas, desert grasslands, chaparral, and riparian habitats; 350-1650 m (1100-5400 ft); Apr-Oct REFERENCES: Little, R. John. Violaceae. 2001. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).
Little 2001, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Suffrutescent perennial with erect, leafy stems, often many-branched from woody base, 13-40 cm tall, herbage glabrous to strigose or pilose. Leaves: Alternate and sessile to subsessile; stipules 3-40 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, leaf-like, but smaller, linear to lanceolate, gland-tipped; blades 1-5 cm long, to 1 cm wide, linear to lanceolate, glabrous to pubescent; apex acute, margins usually entire, ciliate or not. Flowers: Inconspicuous, purple-tinged, and solitary in leaf axils, on usually pendant, 1 cm long pedicels; sepals ovate to lanceolate, midrib often slightly inflated and forming a keel, entire to ciliate, 2-3 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide at base; 5 petals, the lower petal larger and the lateral and upper petals reduced; petals greenish white or yellowish with purple tips, lower petals 3-6 mm long, spatulate, tip 1-3 mm wide above median constriction, this 0.5 mm wide, petal base 1-2 mm wide, glabrous to short-pilose on both surfaces; lateral petals about 3 mm long, purple tinged; upper petals 2-3 mm long, purple tipped. Fruits: Globose to ovoid capsule 4-6 mm long, usually short-beaked and glabrous. Seeds usually 6 per capsule, dark brown to shiny black; caruncles (appendages on seeds) white to cream-colored, hood-shaped. Ecology: Found on dry flats, in grasslands, chaparral, and riparian habitats from 1,000-5,500 ft (305-1676 m); flowers April-October. Distribution: AZ, s NM, s CO, KA, TX, OK; south to s MEX. Notes: A small perennial with linear, often dark-green leaves; the small, two-lipped, purple flowers and following dangling, globose fruits are often hidden behind leaves. This is an easy species to miss. There are two species of Hybanthus in Arizona; H. attenuatus is annual, with petiolate leaves and slightly larger flowers in clusters of 2-4 in the leaf axils; H. verticillatus is a perennial with sessile to subsessile leaves, and flowers solitary in the leaf axils. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Hybanthus is from Greek hybos for humpbacked and anthos for flower, referring to the genus-s unique floral morphology; verticillatus means whorled, though neither the leaf nor the flower arrangement is whorled on this species. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015
A southwestern sp., closely approaches our range in e. Kans. and may be sought in Mo. It is smaller, seldom over 4 dm, with narrow, subsessile, alternate to casually opposite or even verticillate lvs mostly well under 1 cm wide, and with smaller fls, frs, and seeds.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.