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Scientific name: Anthophyta: Dicotyledonae: Violales: Violaceae: Viola sororia
Common Name: Meadow Violet
Photographer: E. M. Barrows
Identifier: E. M. Barrows
Figure 1. The habit of this species.
Figure 2. A closer view of flowers.
Figure 3. A bee’s-eye view of a flower.
Figure 4. One seedling (central area of photograph) of this species with two cotyledons and one regular leaf.
Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet = Meadow Violet = old name: Viola papilionacea, Violaceae) is native to North America and flowers from March through June in Maryland (Brown and Brown 1984, page 655). It grows in damp woods, meadows, and disturbed areas. It can become abundant in gardens and lawns, and some people consider it to be a weed. The cleistogamous flowers (ones that do not open) of this species produce seeds. This species is one of the commoner violets in the U.S., and it freely hybridizes with other violet species (Fernald 1950, 1034). People often cultivate the Confederate Violet (formerly called Viola papilionacea Pursh forma albiflora Grover) a white form of the Common Blue Violet which can escape from gardens.
Brown, M. L. and R. G. Brown. 1984. Herbaceous Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, MD. 1127 pp.
Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany. Eight Edition. American Book Company, New York, NY. 1632 pp.