Viola canadensis

Common Name: Canada violet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Violaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Bloom Description: White, tinged purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in part shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils. Does not spread by runners, but freely self-seeds to the point of being weedy. Performs better in cool summer climates of the northern U.S. and Canada than in hot summer areas such as St. Louis.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viola canadensis, commonly called white violet or Canada violet, is a clump-forming, mounding, stemmed violet. White flowers with yellow centers and purple-tinging on the back of the upper petals bloom in spring on short, naked stalks rising from the leaf axils of leafy stems typically growing 9-15" tall. Dark green, heart-shaped leaves (2-4" long).

Genus name comes from the Latin name for various sweet-scented flowers.

Specific epithet means of Canada.


No serious insect or disease problems. Aggressively self-seeds.


Mass in shaded areas of woodland gardens, wildflower/native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Probably too aggressive for rock gardens or borders.