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Wild violet plants (Viola odorata) are distinguished by their heart-shaped leaves and purple-blue blossoms. Some cultivars feature flowers that are white or yellow in color as well. In spite of the fact that they are designated annuals or biennials in certain regions, wild violets often self-seed, reappearing in unexpected places on a regular basis.
Small purple or blue blooms appear in the early spring and last for a short period of time before dying. They are usually found in yards, gardens, and along the edges of woodlands. However, unless they are left uncontrolled for an extended period of time, they will not take over a region.
The fact that you are reading this indicates that it is most likely springtime in your location. And you’re probably wondering what all of those gorgeous, tiny purple flowers are that are springing up in yards and natural places throughout the world. Congratulations! Violets are one of the most certain signals that spring has arrived since they are one of the first signs of the arrival of warmer weather.
Wild Violet Plants Facts and Figures
- Its natural range extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean in North America.
- Native Americans and early immigrants have utilized it as a medicinal herb for thousands of years.
- Rhizomes and seeds are used to spread the disease.
- Both young leaves and blossoms are edible when they are in their early stages of development.
- The violet has evolved a pretty amazing evolutionary trick in that the seeds of the plant attract ants. The ants, in turn, disperse seeds to other sites, therefore increasing their population.
Identification and Physical Description of Wild Violet Plants
Wild violet (Viola soroia) is a herbaceous perennial plant whose leaves and flowers grow directly from the roots (rhizomes). It is native to Europe and Asia. They form a tiny rosette of leaves at the base of the plant. The size of this rosette may grow to be around 6 inches (15 cm) wide and 3-4 inches (10 cm) tall if left to grow uncontrolled.
The wild violet’s green leaves have a distinctive form that distinguishes them from other plants. They have a peculiar roundish, oval, or even heart-shaped form to them, depending on how you look at them. However, they wrap around their stem, nearly producing a funnel or an unfinished bowl in the process. Serrated edges will be used on the edges.
The wild violet’s blossoms are dark purple in color and have five petals. The color of the flower’s inner neck is white. Two petals are on the top of the flower, two petals are on the sides, and a final petal is at the bottom. It is believed that the 5th petal on the bottom of the flower is where insects and pollinators will rest. Flowers will be in bloom for around 4-6 weeks. When the temperatures rise over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), the blooms begin to wilt and die.
There is an extra self-pollinating bloom (cleistogamous) that will generate seeds in addition to the ones mentioned above. When the pod is ruptured by seed development or other forces acting on it, the seeds are expelled from the bloom and fall to the ground.
The roots of this flower are shallow rhizomes that are thick and extend horizontally, giving them a slender appearance. Due to its ability to create big groups if left uncontrolled by competition or herbicides, this provides the flower with another way of reproducing itself.
Propagation of the Wild Violet plants
Violets may be reproduced either by seed or by cuttings. When the wild violet’s seeds are fully developed, they are flung from the plant. Given that this might be a tough seed to germinate, it’s best to leave it to Mother Nature to take care of it for you. Simply distribute seeds in the approximate area where you want them to grow, and then keep an eye out for heart-shaped leaves to emerge in the spring or summer. However, if you are determined on growing the seeds yourself, that is also acceptable.
To winter plant the seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours before sowing them in seed starting mix or potting soil in late summer. Leave the plant outdoors during the winter since it requires at least a two-month cold/moist stratification period in order to come out of dormancy. Instead, you may stratify them in the refrigerator using a wet paper towel inside a zip-lock bag or damp sand, which will keep them fresher longer.
It is better to dig up random violet plants, or to divide them, in the autumn rather than in the spring or summer. When plants are in bloom or producing seeds, they are less likely to survive transplantation. As a result, it is suggested that established blooms be divided or transplanted only when the plant is nearing or has entered dormancy. Because this is a flower that blooms in the early spring, it should not be dug up in the spring because all of the plant’s energy is being directed into the production of the flower.
How to Grow and Take Care of the Plants
It is best to grow the native violet, Viola sororia, in full sun or moderate shade, with moist medium soil as its preferred growing conditions. They may be found in abundance along forest roads, in open woodlands, and on lawns, among other places. They thrive in soil that is wet or medium in texture. And although they seem to be able to withstand clay, they thrive in rich black loam, which is typical of most plants.
Because of their ability to spread by rhizomes, they have the potential to become invasive in their natural environment. The fact that they spread so easily on inside lawns is something that many of you have definitely seen. However, since they are indigenous to the area, they have developed a high level of adaptation to the temperate climates of Eastern North America. This implies that they are normally not highly vulnerable to illness and will flourish in most situations if provided with the proper environment.
The Length of the Bloom
This flower may be used to create a spectacular show in bulk plantings, as you will practically have a purple carpet of blossoms that can last anywhere from one month to six weeks in length. Due to the fact that they bloom in the early spring, they might very well be employed as a complement to our other early spring bloomers that you should include in your garden.
Bees do pay visits to the blooms, although they are not in large numbers. Animals such as rabbits and deer will consume the leaves of this shrub. The most intriguing interaction with animals that I have seen is that ants would actually transfer the seeds away and aid in the propagation of the plant. Doves, quail, and turkeys are among the game birds that consume the seeds. Turkeys also consume the leaves and roots of the plant.
Delectable Treat of Wild Violet
You should keep in mind that, since this plant is commonly regarded as a weed on people’s lawns, you should check to make sure that no pesticides have been applied to it prior to harvesting. As a side note, it is not recommended to ingest the roots, fruit, or seeds of this plant.
The blooms and young leaves are edible, and the blossoms and young leaves are said to be rich in vitamins A and C. They may be used as a garnish, in salads, or even in the preparation of tea. In addition, you may use the blossoms to create jams and other goods like candles.