Scientific Name: Viola sororia

Common Name: common blue violet

Other Common Names: dooryard violet, hooded blue violet, meadow violet, woolly blue violet

Synonyms: Viola floridana, Viola latiuscula, Viola palmata, Viola papilionacea, Viola priceana, Viola palmata var sororia, Viola papilionacea var. priceana

Habit: This low growing, spreading, perennial flowers from April through June.

Leaves: The heart-shaped leaves occur on long petioles arising from the basal crown. Leaves are hairless and have a rounded, toothed margin.

Identifying Characteristics: This plant can be identified by its heart-shaped leaves, purple flowers, and rhizomes. The lowest petal on the flower is also lacking a spur, helping distinguish it from a great-spurred violet.

Flower Seed Head: The bluish purple flowers occur on leafless stalks that grow to the same height as the leaves. Each flower has 5 petals, with the lateral petals being bearded or hairy at the base.

Seed Fruit: The seeds develop in a three-parted capsule that is capable of ejecting the seeds when ripe.

Where Found: This plant can be found in damp soils near woods and meadows. Tolerant of most areas, this plant does not grow in the extreme north or south locations of the United States.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Violaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette

  • Leaf shape: round; triangle; heart

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: white; purple; blue; yellow

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Root structure: rhizomes present; fibrous

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Flower diameter: dime; quarter; nickle

  • Leaf stalk: longer than leaf