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Botanical Name:


Common Name:

Violet,Common Blue Violet,Confederate Violet,Hooded Violet,Meadow Violet,Purple Violet,Violets,Wild Blue Violet,Wild Violet,Wood Violet,Wooly Blue Violet


Herbs, annual or perennial, caulescent or acaulescent, homophyllous (heterophyllous in V. palmata, V. sagittata, and V. septemloba), hairs concentrated or scattered throughout. Stems usually deciduous and withering at end of season, 0–5(–10+), erect to ascending, decumbent, or prostrate, simple, [woody], leafy; from horizontal or vertical, thick, fleshy or subligneous, shallow or deep-seated rhizome (caudex); or from narrow or thick rhizomes; or spreading, thin stolons; or slender taproots in annual species and seedlings; in caulescent species, short, axillary branches are sometimes present on main stems. Leaves alternate on caulescent species, simple (compound in V. beckwithii, V. douglasii, V. hallii, V. sheltonii, and V. trinervata), petiolate; caulescent plants with 0–11(–22) basal leaves per caudex, acaulescent plants with 1–12(–18) leaves per rhizome, prostrate to erect; stipules adnate to petiole or not, not leaflike (sometimes leaflike in V. lobata), unlobed, shorter than leaves (except V. arvensis, V. bicolor, and V. tricolor); blade not overlapping basally (except occasionally in V. blanda and V. rotundifolia), ovate, reniform, deltate, orbiculate, lanceolate, spatulate, or linear, adaxial surface not mottled (except in V. hastata and V. hirsutula). Inflorescences axillary (rarely umbellate in V. sagittata forma umbelliflora) from distal and proximal stem nodes in caulescent species or scapose from rhizomes or stolons in acaulescent species, 1(–3)[–5]-flowered; peduncles not jointed; bracteoles present. Flowers: sepals entire, equal or subequal, margins ciliate or eciliate, auriculate, auricles prominent or not; upper 2 and lateral 2 petals showy, 5+ mm, lowest petal showy, not narrowed at middle of limb; lateral petals and sometimes others bearded proximally with variously shaped hairs; style bearded or beardless; spur gibbous or elongated; stamens connivent, but distinct, forming cone around ovary, not adherent to style, dehiscing introrsely, lower 2 filaments spurred with nectary that protrudes into petal spur; cleistogamous flowers absent or produced in summer, apetalous or petals 0 or 2(–3) and scarcely developed, stamens 2, usually adherent to style. Capsules ovoid, ellipsoid, oblong, spherical, or subglobose, glabrous, puberulent, or tomentose, sometimes muriculate. Seeds 6–75, spherical or ovoid, glabrous, often arillate with elaiosome. x = 6, 7.

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Bloom Time


Plant Type

Herb/Forb, Native Plant, Perennial, Wildflower




1/2 inch to 3/4 inch flowers in various colors, most are 5-petaled with 4 petals being swept upright or fan-like and one acting as a guide for pollinators. The shape of the petals vary. Most bloom in spring.


During the summer cleistogamous flowers without petals produce seeds which are thrown by mechanical ejection from three-parted seed capsules. Fruit capsules are produced that split open by way of three valves.

How to Grow


Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day), Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)





Small Mammals


Specialized Bees

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