Common Blue Violet Identification – Viola sororia

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This post is part of our “100 Plants and Mushrooms” series. Here, you’ll see the plant’s main parts – its leaves, flowers, fruits, and more – all with key identification features.

The Common Blue Violet belongs to the Violaceae family. This plant also goes by the names “Northern Blue Violet”.

Common Blue Violet: Key Parts in Photos

Where to find it

The Common Blue Violet isn’t too picky about its habitat. It grows in places with sunshine and those that are shaded. So, if you’re on the lookout, you might find it in woods, on lawns, along roadsides, or even in open fields. While some plants can be tall and towering, the Common Blue Violet stays relatively low to the ground, usually growing to heights between 3 to 8 inches.

How to identify Common Blue Violet

The flowers stand out, making it easier to identify the plant. At the top of the stem, you’ll find a single flower. The flower is up to one inch across. It has five petals that spread out broadly. The two side petals have white tufty hairs at their base. The color of these petals is generally a deep shade of blue. Sometimes, you might find them to be white or a mix of white and blue. No matter the main color, the base of these petals typically fades into a pale yellow. The bottom petal has dark blue-violet lines on it, kind of like veins.

All its leaves grow from the base and can be up to 2 inches long and wide. These leaves are heart-shaped. The edges of the leaves aren’t smooth but have tiny round teeth. If you touch the top side of the leaf, it’s smooth. Flip it over, and you’ll feel some hairs, especially along the veins on the leaf.

For the Common Blue Violet, the fruits are capsules with three sections or chambers inside. When young, they’re green, but as they mature, they might turn purple.

Want to learn more?

Our new book, “A New Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods,” is available on Amazon. It helps beginners learn about how to identify and cook with these 100 common plants and mushrooms. Click the buy button on the right and order your copy now!

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