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VIOLA sororia

Image of Viola sororia

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Violaceae

Botanical Name

VIOLA sororia

Plant Common Name

Common Blue Violet

General Description

The purple flowers of this weedy violet are a common spring sight in lawns, gardens, and waysides of eastern North America.

The shiny, dark green, heart-shaped leaves of this hardy, low-growing perennial arise from thick, underground, vigorously spreading rhizomes. The leaves have round-toothed margins and are creased with conspicuous veins. The violet-purple, white-eyed flowers have two erect and three down-pointing petals. White-flowered, blue-eyed forms of this violet often occur. Later in the season, plants bear greenish-white underground flowers that remain closed. These "cleistogamous" flowers are self-fertile, producing seed without pollination.

This tough perennial succeeds (sometimes alarmingly so) in well-drained soil in full to part sun. It is suitable for naturalistic shade gardens and other informal plantings where its colonizing habit is not problematic. Cultivar 'Freckles' has white, purple-flecked flowers, while var. priceana bears pale blue-gray, violet-veined blooms.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4"-8" / 10.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Violet, Blue Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes