Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ground Covers
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich
Bloom Time: March, April, May, June, July, August
Bloom Color: white, purple, lavender, blue
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Additional Tags: attracts bees, clumping, colonizing, edible, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, shade garden plant, woodland plant
Pricing & Availability
Viola sororiaAlso known as:
common blue violet,
hooded blue violet,
Viola floridana, Viola latiuscula, Viola papilionacea, Viola priceana
Viola sororia is a variable species. It is low-growing, with broad heart-shaped leaves that can vary from almost glossy to noticeably downy. The flowers are about 3/4" in diameter, and borne atop erect stems that are just tall enough to push them above the foliage. The flowers are produced in shades of violet, and their inner throat is white to a varying degree. The bloom period extends for close to two months, beginning in mid-spring. The fruit bearing flowers develop during the summer. They develop below the foliage during the summer, but never open. Instead, they produce seed pods that mechanically disperse the seeds by bursting open when ripe.
Viola sororia is easy to grow and highly adaptable. It can be planted en masse to create an effective ground cover for shade, yet is tolerant of full sun if grown in a moist environment. It can also be used effectively as a filler, or border plant, for a perennial flower bed where they will provide early season interest, yet be protected from the scorching sun by taller growing summer bloomers. The common blue violet has a rhizomatous root system that stays very compact, producing dense clumps over time. It does however spread more aggressively by seed, and is unfortunately often frowned upon by lawn aficionados. It is extremely cold hardy and heat tolerant. Zones 3-10
Easy to propagate by rhizome division. It is also easy to propagate from seed. The tricky part however is gathering the seed pods when the seeds are ripe enough to be viable, but haven't yet burst open ejecting their content.
The leaves are edible and high in vitamins A and C. Tender young shoots are delicious in salads, and more mature leaves can be used as cooked greens. The flowers are also edible and can be used as a garnish, candied, or made into jellies.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
|Species||Viola sororia||common blue violet|