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Viola pedata is often confused with:
Viola striata Viola striata
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Viola pubescens Form
Viola striata Viola striata

Bird's Foot Violet Viola pedata

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la ped-AY-tuh
Description

Bird-Foot Violet is a native herbaceous plant that may grow 4 to 8 inches high. This plant has basal leaves only that tend to have 3 lobes. Lavender-blue or bi-colored flowers with orange anthers appear from early to late spring and may recur in fall. It occurs naturally in rocky, open woods, sandy prairies & pinelands. This species is restricted to undisturbed, high-quality habitats and occurs in the NC mountains, Piedmont and coastal areas. It is often considered one of the prettiest violas.

This plant needs well-drained soils and prefers sandy or gravelly soil with a somewhat acid pH in full sun but will tolerate part shade.  It doesn't spread by stolons but may reseed in ideal conditions. This viola may be more difficult to grow than most.

Use this lovely native viola in groups, along paths, in rock gardens or on slopes.

This plant is particularly susceptible to crown rot if drainage is not excellent.

In North Carolina, var. pedata can be naturally found in dry, rocky or sandy forests, woodlands, glades, and roadbanks whereas var. ranuncuilfolia can be found in sandhills.

Quick ID Hints:

  1. Deeply lobed leaves
  2. Large flower size to 1.5 inches
  3. No hairs at the throat of flowers
See this plant in the following landscape:
Fairy Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#clumps#purple#walkway planting#herbaceous perennial#NC Native Pollinator Plant#Piedmont Mountains FACU#cpp#sun#sandhills#food source mid-summer#perennial#sunshine#wildflower garden#deciduous#dry soil#forests#seed#summer fruits#part sun#part shade#forb#self-seeding#food source#bird friendly#full sun#food source hard-mast fruit#showy#cutting garden#specialized bees#moth larvae#Coastal FACU#low flammability#full sun flowers#purple flowers#food source spring#herbaceous#clumping#dry soils tolerant#small groups#spring fruits#bees#rock gardens#spreads#fruit#well-drained soil#colorful#NC native#fruits#pollinator plant#woodland#food source herbage#native wildflower#native#beautiful#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#small plant#nectar plant#seeds#native perennial#lavender#deer resistant#butterfly larvae#rocky soils tolerant#food source root#small mammals#walkways#small group plantings#small and large mammals#fire resistant#lavender flowers#sandy soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#spreading#mass planting#spring interest#moths#partial sun#audubon#larval host plant#drought tolerant#resistant#native garden#partial shade#wildlife plant#showy flowers#forest#moist soil#seed pods#full sunlight#attractive foliage#herb garden#summer interest#naturalized area#spring flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    pedata
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA , IL, IN, KS , KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for fritillary butterflies. 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.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Defines Paths
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Particularly resistant to fire in the landscape. Moderately resistant to deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    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:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    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, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds are ejected from the capsule and are covered with a sugary gel that attracts ants who help disperse the seeds. In North Carolina, the fruits are available from May to June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-1.5 inch across five-petaled pale lavender to purple blooms. The upper 2 petals are smaller than the lower 3 with the lower petal having dark streaks. 5 stamens have bright orange anthers. Will bloom March-June and occasionally again in the fall. In North Carolina, flowers are available from March to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Palmatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are almost round, are 3/4-2 inches long and deeply cut into 3-5 narrow lobes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green to purple stems that curve at the tip.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Fire