Plant DetailShow Menu

Canadian Violet Viola canadensis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la ka-na-DEN-sis
Description

Canadian violets are North American wildflowers in the Violaceae family.  Native to the mountains and piedmont of North Carolina, they can be found in rich mesic areas, such as floodplains. They have showy fragrant white tinged with purple flowers from summer to fall. They do not spread by runners like other violets.  They tolerate heavy shade and being planted under black walnut trees.  They freely self-seed to the point of being weedy. They perform better in cool summer climates of the northern U.S. and Canada than in hot summers like most of North Carolina.  They are probably too weedy for rock gardens or borders but do well in shaded woodland gardens.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#food source summer#herbaceous perennial#rich soil#NC Native Pollinator Plant#cpp#full shade#food source mid-summer#perennial#black walnut#floodplain#wildflower garden#white#seed#summer fruits#summer flowers#part sun#part shade#forb#fragrant flowers#food source#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#showy#cutting garden#specialized bees#perennial flowers#moth larvae#fragrant#herbaceous#piedmont#accent#small groups#bees#mid-summer flowers#fruit#NC native#weed#fruits#flood plains#heavy shade#pollinator plant#accent plant#woodland#food source herbage#native wildflower#native#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#seedpods#small plant#nectar plant#seeds#native perennial#deep shade#deer resistant#butterfly larvae#food source root#small mammals#small and large mammals#white flowers#butterfly friendly#mass planting#spring interest#moths#native groundcover#partial sun#weedy#mountains#audubon#larval host plant#Piedmont Mountains FAC#partial shade#showy flowers#wildlife plant#moist soil#coastal FAC#seed pods#attractive foliage#summer interest#naturalized area#perennials#groundcover#spring flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#food source summer#herbaceous perennial#rich soil#NC Native Pollinator Plant#cpp#full shade#food source mid-summer#perennial#black walnut#floodplain#wildflower garden#white#seed#summer fruits#summer flowers#part sun#part shade#forb#fragrant flowers#food source#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#showy#cutting garden#specialized bees#perennial flowers#moth larvae#fragrant#herbaceous#piedmont#accent#small groups#bees#mid-summer flowers#fruit#NC native#weed#fruits#flood plains#heavy shade#pollinator plant#accent plant#woodland#food source herbage#native wildflower#native#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#seedpods#small plant#nectar plant#seeds#native perennial#deep shade#deer resistant#butterfly larvae#food source root#small mammals#small and large mammals#white flowers#butterfly friendly#mass planting#spring interest#moths#native groundcover#partial sun#weedy#mountains#audubon#larval host plant#Piedmont Mountains FAC#partial shade#showy flowers#wildlife plant#moist soil#coastal FAC#seed pods#attractive foliage#summer interest#naturalized area#perennials#groundcover#spring flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from the flowers attract butterflies and bees.  Members of the genus Viola support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Gonandrena) fragilis, Andrena (Gonandrena) integra, and Andrena (Gonandrena) platyparia. Butterflies and moths use this plant as a larval host. Birds and small mammals use the seed fruits as a food source.. This plant is resistant to damage by deer.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to damage by deer.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The oval capsule is up to 1/2 inch long and covered in fine hairs. It changes from green to brown before splitting into 3 sections to release numerous brown seeds. In North Carolina, fruits are available from June to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are about 1 inch across or less, slightly irregular with 5 white petals, distinctly yellow at the base, and dark purple lines on the lower petal. The side petals are “bearded” with tufts of short hairs. The backs of the petals are tinged purple. In North Carolina, flowers are available from April to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The basal and stem leaves are mostly heart-shaped with scalloped edges or shallow teeth and are 2-4 inches long and 3 inches wide. The tips are sharply pointed. The stem leaves are longer and narrower than basal ones. Fine hairs are on leaf edges and along major veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Weedy