Viola sororia

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: common blue violet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Violaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to August
Bloom Description: White, blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers humusy, moisture-retentive soils. Does not spread by runners, but freely self-seeds to the point of being weedy in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Viola sororia, commonly called woolly blue violet, is a common Missouri native wildflower which occurs in woods, thickets and streambanks throughout the State. A stemless, rhizomatous, low-growing perennial (3-8" tall) which features downy, basal, wide-heart-shaped leaves and large blue-violet flowers (sometimes white with purple veining). Each flower rests atop its own leafless stalk. Blooms in early spring and sometimes intermittently into late summer.

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


No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage tends to depreciate in hot summers.


Best massed and left to spread undisturbed in open woodland gardens, wildflower gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Good small scale ground cover for areas along walkways or under shrubs.