Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia

Common Blue Violet

Viola sororia

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Spring
Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Moist
Color: Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Fragrance: No
Height: 6-12 inches
Spacing: 6 inches

Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia, is a low growing perennial with leaves and flowers that emerge directly from underground rhizomes. This violet is 4-6 inches tall with an equal spread. Leaf blades are yellowish-green to dark green and 2-3 inches long. Blades vary from oval or rounded to heart-shaped and from smooth to pubescent. Leaves have long petioles and rounded teeth on the edges.

In mid-spring, leafless stems rise slightly above the foliage bearing 1-inch blue-violet or white blooms. Flowers have 5 spreading petals. The side petals have tufts of white hair toward the base. The lower petal is marked with dark purplish veins.

In late summer inconspicuous cleistogamous, a type of automatic self-pollination of certain plants that can propagate by using non-opening, self-pollinating flowers form at the base. Seed mature inside the self-pollinated closed flowers and are released on or near the soil surface. Each seed has an elaiosome, a fleshy structures that are attached to the seeds, that attracts ants. The ants transport the seed to their mounds and feed on the nutritious elaiosome before discarding and consequently distributing the seed.

Habitat for the Common Blue Violet includes moist blackland prairies, savannas, open woods, shaded banks and borders of rivers, lakes and creeks. This species also occurs in moist disturbed waste areas, urban right of ways, lawns and landscapes.

 Further Information

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