Viola labradorica

Stemmed blue violet of moist woods

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Viola labradorica [American dog violet]

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA Synonyms:   Viola conspersa

Stemmed blue violet with orbicular to ovate leaf blades. In form this violet is similar to other blue violets but with a closer examination, though, it is smaller and a lighter shade of blue than the more frequently seen species. The American dog violet is only one of a few species of blue violet that has flowers and leaves on the same stem. The flowers, like other violets have five petals and a spur and are ½ to ¾ inch wide. The stout nectar spur is about 4-5 mm long, blunt-ended and sometimes slightly hooked. It is long enough that it is sometimes visible when the flower is viewed from the front. The color of the Dog violet is described as light bluish violet with purple veins on the petals. The lateral petals are “bearded”, with a row of white hairs near the throat of the flower.

Even after the blue spring flowers are done growing, the plant continues to produce small white or green unopened flowers that self-pollinate. These continue until the first frost. When ripe the seed capsules split into three parts and eject the seeds some distance from the parent plant. The leaves are round with the upper ones heart-shaped, heavily scalloped and finely toothed. There are toothed, leaf-like stipules at the base of the stalks. The plant grows 2-6 inches high in meadows, low woods and along stream banks. The flowers bloom in May and June.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Frequent in moist woods and swamps.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland Code: FACW

Flowers May to July.