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Similar but less problematic plants:
Echinacea pallida Echinacea pallida
Viola macloskeyi is often confused with:
Viola renifolia Viola Renifolia
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Trillium pusillum T. pusillum
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis

Small White Violet Viola macloskeyi

Previously known as:

  • Viola pallens
Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la
Description

Small White Violet is a native wildflower found in forests, wetlands, along wet banks and in meadows. There are two types of flowers.  Flowers that open are called chasmogamous.  Flowers having no petals and do not open are referred to as cleistogamous.  The latter, which are not produced until after the tree canopy is leafed out and the open flowers have matured.  They are smaller and will appear on separate stems, producing seed in the form of an ovoid capsule.  The chasmogamous flower is the fragrant of the two.

The single flowers rise on a slender, hairless, green or reddish stalk that rises above the basal leaves.  Having five petals, the uppermost two petals are angled outwards.  The lowest projects forwards and forms a spur at the rear.  The remaining two petals that project sideways have a few hairs near the base.  Dark purple lines cross the lower three petals.  The leaves are basal, growing at the base of the plant.  

Growing and spreading from stolons that root at the nodes, Small White Violet makes an excellent ground cover.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#acidic soil tolerant#food source summer#herbaceous perennial#wetlands#Coastal FACW#rich soil#stream banks#wet soils tolerant#full shade#flower#host#perennial#small spaces#wildflower garden#white#summer fruits#part sun#part shade#Piedmont Mountains FACW#riparian#forb#shade garden#food source#fragrant flowers#bird friendly#rhizome#full sun#perennial flowers#organic soils#shade tolerant#moth larvae#full sun flowers#fragrant#food source spring#herbaceous#piedmont#spring fruits#rhizomes#spreads#wet sites#colonies#creeping#woodlands#fruit#NC native#flowering#fruits#food source roots#food source herbage#native wildflower#native#food source hard mast fruit#native perennial#acidic soil#deep shade#butterfly larvae#pollinator garden#food source root#fritillary butterflies#small and large mammals#white flowers#butterfly friendly#spreading#spring interest#moths#partial sun#shade flowers#mountains#audubon#larval host plant#short lifespan#native garden#partial shade#wildflower#showy flowers#wildlife plant#moist soil#full sunlight#summer interest#perennials#butterflies#spring flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    macloskeyi
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Subartic to Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, NV, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Fritillary butterfly larvae. Birds and small mammals enjoy the fruits as a food source. Butterflies and moths use this plant as a larval host.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    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:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    In North Carolina, fruits are available from May to June. The green capsules split in three sections to release small, light brown to black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The 1/2", solitary flower is white with the bottom petal larger and having purple stripes. Flowers have a sweet fragrance. Blooms from May-August. In North Carolina, blooms from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Reniform
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Heart-shaped basal leaves rise directly from the root on smooth stems that are longer than the leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stemless.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds