Viola sororia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Viola sororia
Viola sororia in Wisconsin.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophytes
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. sororia
Binomial name
Viola sororia
  • Viola affinis Leconte
  • Viola chalcosperma Brainerd
  • Viola cucullata var. sororia (Willd.) Torr. & A. Gray
  • Viola floridana Brainerd
  • Viola langloisii Greene
  • Viola latiuscula Greene
  • Viola missouriensis Greene
  • Viola novae-angliae House
  • Viola palmata var. sororia (Willd.) Pollard
  • Viola papilionacea Pursh
  • Viola pratincola Greene
  • Viola priceana Pollard
  • Viola rosacea Brainerd

Viola sororia, known commonly as the common blue violet, is a stemless herbaceous perennial plant that is native to eastern North America. It is known by a number of common names, including; common meadow violet, purple violet, woolly blue violet, hooded violet and wood violet.

It is the state flower of Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

Self-seeding freely, in lawns and gardens it can become a weed. Cleistogamous seed heads may also appear on short stems late summer, early autumn.


Beyond its use as a common lawn and garden plant, Viola sororia has historically been used for food and for medicine. The flowers and leaves are edible, and some sources suggest the roots can also be eaten. The Cherokee used it to treat colds and headaches. Rafinesque, in his Medical Flora, a Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America (1828–1830), wrote of Viola sororia being used by his American contemporaries for coughs, sore throats, and constipation.



External links[edit]