Early blue violet (Viola adunca)

Early blue violet (Viola adunca)
Also known as: Western long-spurred violet, hookedspur violet


Bloom time: May

Additional photos:

General: A small wildflower (herb) that grows 4 cm to 10 cm tall.

Leaves & Twigs: Leaves are 1 cm to 3 cm wide, heart- to kidney-shaped, and are attached along the flower stem.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • Fragrant, bluish-purple flowers are up to 2 cm across. There are purple lines on the three lower petals and white ‘beards’ on the two side petals.
  • A dry, 3-valved, many-seeded capsule.

Habitat: Early blue violet plants grow in open woods and prairie.

PlantWatch Pointers: If the plants are very abundant, mark a plot about one metre by one metre in size.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: When the first flowers are open in the plant, or patch observed.
  • Mid bloom: When approximately half (50%) of the flowers on the plants under observation are open.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta

Violet leaves, high in Vitamin C, can be used in salads and to make tea. When seed capsules mature, seeds are shot out to several cm away from the parent plant. Each seed provides an ‘ant snack’, so seeds are carried to good growing areas by ants.