Viola sororia
common blue violet

Viola sororia

Viola sororia
Viola sororia
Photos courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown Line Drawing
Botanical name: Viola sororia
Common name: common blue violet
Group: dicot
Family: Violaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: perennial, annual
Origin: native
Plant height: 3 - 8"
Foliage: heart shaped basal leaves
Flower: blue-purple; white or partly white and blue-purple (bicolor)
Flowering time: April to June
Habitat: woods, meadows, lawns and waste areas
Range in New Jersey: statewide
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. Viola sororia is the stateflower of New Jersey, Wisconsin, Illinois and Rhode Island.
The young leaves and flowers are edible.
This plant also has cleistogamous flowers, self-pollinating. Caterpillars of several Fritillary  butterflies feed on the foliage: Speyeria diane (Diana), Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary), Speyeria aphrodite (Aphrodite Fritillary), Boloria bellona (Meadow Fritillary), and Boloria selene myrina (Silver-Border Fritillary).
The seeds have elaiosomes that attract ants. Mourning dove, wild turkey, and bobwhite eat the seeds.