Wildflower Wednesday: Common Blue Violet


Common Name: Common Blue Violet

Scientific Name: Viola sororia

Habitat & Range: woodlands and gardens statewide

Bloom Time: spring

About: If you have ever tried to rid your garden or lawn of violets, you know it is no easy task to dislodge these strong-rooted plants that spread by both underground runners and seeds. If you don’t get all–and I mean all–of that root, you will see them again very soon. At least they are native and make for a cheery presentation in spring. Their flowers can range from white to deep purple, and there is also a yellow variety that is not quite so low to the ground and less common in yards. The flowers can be candied and used as edible decorations on cakes and cupcakes, and even the leaves can be eaten in salads or as cooked greens. So if you can’t get rid of them and you don’t use dangerous fertilizers or pesticides on them, go ahead and eat them! I’ve made peace with the ones in the garden by the gas and electric boxes. But I still pull up about a hundred of them every year from other parts of the yard.

Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000