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VMs: Viola tricolor

Dana Scott writes:

  > It seems that there are varying degrees of cryptobotony involved
  > with the plants. The plant drawing in f09v is clearly viola
  > tricolor or a very close variation. What is interesting about the
  > plant is the positioning of the flowers which appear to be turned
  > upside down, suggesting that the plant was drawn from a collected
  > specimen.
The identification of Viola tricolor (hartsease, wild pansy,
love-lies-bleeding, herb trinity) seems pretty strong, not only
because of the distinctive flowers but chiefly because of the very
characteristic change in the shapes of the leaves, from bottom to top:

  "The lower leaves are almost round, the upper ones oval and coarsely 
  to sparsely toothed at the edges."

So why are the flowers upside down?  Here are some theories:

  1) sloppy artist.
  2) drawn from memory.
  3) plant and flowers sketched separately; er, which way was up?
  4) the flowers had fallen off the dried specimen.
  5) flowers were bought from druggist, unflowered plant was drawn from wild.
  6) "hoc est the rare /topsy-turvy pansy/, luckier than a 4-leaf clover."

As for (3), keep in mind that some "herbal" drawings are clean copies
of sketches found in the "pharma" section, completed with apparently
invented details. Unfortunately no Viola sketches have been identified

All the best,

Jorge Stolfi
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