Wild violet (Common blue violet)

Encyclopedia Article

common blue violet (wild violet)                    Vioila sororia Willd.

Family: Violaceae (violet)                             
Life cycle:
Perennial, reproducing by seed and short rhizomes
Native status: Native
Habitat: lawns, wooded areas                     

General description: Leaves emerge from a basal crown, up to 4.5 in long and 3.5 in wide with petioles. Leaf shape variable, ranging from heart to egg shaped; rounded teeth on margins, hairless. Flowers are blue to purple with 5 showy petals. Rhizomes are short, think and branched.

Key ID traits: Heart-shaped leaves developing from crown, typically found in dense colonies due to spreading by short rhizomes.

Similar species: Several similar violet species are found in Iowa, but common blue violet is best adapted to lawns. Field pansy is a winter annual with a similar appearance occasionally found in no-till fields.

Wild violet is usually found in clumps.  Leaves are heart shaped with dentate margins.  Flowers are usually blue or purple, but white biotypes can be found.