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Johnny Jump-up Violet Viola bicolor

Previously known as:

  • Viola kitaibeliana
  • Viola kitaibeliana var. rafinesquei
  • Viola rafinesquei
Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la BY-kul-ur
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Field pansy is a native annual plant in the violet family found throughout much of North America and is a winter annual weed. It forms colonies in fields, along roadsides and other disturbed sites such as prairies, pastures, and other waste areas.  It is most abundant in sandy soils. It prefers full sun in moist sandy soil but adapts to other soils and part shade. Although considered weedy, this little plant attracts wildlife and is an early spring nectar source for bees.  It tolerates light foot traffic and can be used as a lawn alternative.  

The flower is solitary, rising from the leaf axils on the stalks.  It has 5 dark veined petals, with the lateral petals bearded and the lower one will have a yellow patch at its base.  The petals are typically pale blue, however can also be white with a slight blue tint.

This is the only annual in the Violet species that produces cleistogamous flowers.  That is a type of automatic self-pollination of a plant by using non-opening but self-pollinating flowers.

A distinguishing feature of this viola is the length of the sepals.  Its petals are longer than the sepals, where other varieties of viola have petals that are shorter than the sepals. 

Field pansy can be planted in home landscapes, however, its aggressive, invasive nature make it a poor choice.  Best planted in large areas such as a meadow where it is free to spread.  

Its common name Johnny-jump-up comes from its quick growth in the spring.  It appears to jump-up.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#deciduous#invasive#edible plant#wildlife plant#weedy#lawn alternative#spring flowers#winter annual weed#herbaceous#wildflower garden#cool season weed#larval host plant#nectar plant spring#foot traffic tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#fritillary butterflies
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#deciduous#invasive#edible plant#wildlife plant#weedy#lawn alternative#spring flowers#winter annual weed#herbaceous#wildflower garden#cool season weed#larval host plant#nectar plant spring#foot traffic tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#fritillary butterflies
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    bicolor
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the plant for food and made teas to treat various ailments
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , AZ , CO , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Fritillary butterfly larvae. Bees visit the flowers and caterpillars of fritillary butterflies will feed on the foliage.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Leaves and flowers are edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Oblong capsules split to eject small rounded light brown seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    asymmetrical petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The ½" solitary blooms have 5 petals and 5 sepals. The petals are pale to medium blue-violet with dark purple lines. The lowermost petal has a patch of yellow near its base. The lateral petals are bearded with white hairs near the throat.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Obovate
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Small, veined basal leaves are orbicular. The alternate stem leaves are up to 2 inches long and obovate, becoming narrower as they go up the stem. They are hairless with crenate to entire margins. The leaves grow in clusters on the stem. Out of these clusters grow 1 or 2 leafless stems with a single blossom at the end.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are light green to purplish green and hairless
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Foot Traffic
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy