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.