Common Blue Violet – Viola Sororia

viola sororia 2011_0

The common blue violet appearing right after the early arrivals to Northwoods is common, but not necessarily blue!

violets, white 2

With its characteristic heart shaped leaves, the Viola sororia sometimes appears with white flowers.  But what they both have in common is that the little flowers and little heart shaped leaves are all about the same height…a tall and proud 6 or so inches!

Viola sororia _3In early spring with a background of dead leaves on the ground the plants stand out in attractive clumps.  So far, so good.  When the blooms die down you will notice the seed.  It is lovely and very photogenic, which gets me to the point of saying that you should be very, very careful to invite it to your flower beds because falling on fertile, well cared ground the little seeds will propagate and totally take over your bed!  As my good friend Kenneth says about certain plants “they just take over”.

viola seeds_1One year I made a lovely, lovely border of blue violets on one of our native beds, and I am still pulling up huge clumps of violet plants.  A well contained bed of “just violets if you please” works…treating these lovely little ones as one does the errant mind in the herb garden.

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