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Smooth Yellow Violet Viola pubescens

Previously known as:

  • Viola pensylvanica
Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la pew-BES-senz
Description

Downy-Yellow Violet is a native wildflower with medium drought tolerance that naturally grows in rich deciduous forests, dry woods, meadows, low woods, sandy woodlands, and other wooded areas. Preference is for part sun to part shade in loose soils with organic matter. This violet doesn't tolerate mowing. It tolerates acidic soils and self-seeds. Use as a groundcover and in naturalized areas. It is a great companion plant for Trillium spp.

Differing from other Violet varieties, only 1 or 2 leafy stems are produced per root stalk.  These 4-10" stems are light green, erect, and ascending or sprawling.  The alternate leaves along these stems are 2-4" long, with the upper surface a medium green with sparse short-pubescent.  The lower leaf is a light green and pubescent.  The heart shaped leaves are unique to this variety.

The individual yellow blooms are produced from the axils of the leaves.  The lowest petal will have brownish purple veins which are a distinguishing trait for this variety of violet. They often have a slight fragrance.  In the late 19th century, species in the violet family were used as a substitute for perfume and even chewed on as a breath mint.  Later on in the season, this variety of violet also produces small bud-like flowers that do not open.  They will self-pollinate.  Both the flowers and the unopened buds will produce seeds.  

Violets contain a chemical substance that may interfere with a persons scent receptors.  After a period of time, the nose may become affected by the chemical substance, and the person can no longer detect the scent of a violet.

While beneficial insects such as bees benefit from the nectar and pollen produced by the blooms, several destructive insects feed on the foliage and other parts of the plant.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Destructive insects may feed on the plant.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#small spaces#edible plant#perennials#wildlife plant#moths#yellow flowers#edible flowers#native perennials#nectar plant#shade garden#low maintenance#spring flowers#seeds#dappled shade#showy fruits#small mammals#specialized bees#moist soil#food source wildlife#cpp#NC native#well-drained soil#perennial flowers#rich soils#summer flowers#dappled sunlight#deer resistant#small and large mammals#native garden#seed pods#groundcover#green fruits#naturalizes#summer interest#rock garden#self-seeding#cutting garden#spring interest#native groundcover#pollinator plant#edible garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#naturalized area#larval host plant#fruits summer#food source summer#fruits spring#forb#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source spring#food source herbage#small group plantings#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#moth larvae#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#partial shade tolerant#seed#food source roots#shade flowers#bee friendly#Audubon#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#fritillary butterflies
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    pubescens
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Fritillary butterfly larvae. 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. This plant is resistant to damage by deer. 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
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderately resistant to damage by deer.
    Edibility:
    Flowers are edible in limited quantities, as it can have the same effect as a laxative.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    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)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    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:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Egg-shaped, 1/2 inch long oval 3-angled seed capsules are light green and mature to brown. They split into 3 parts to eject their seeds. In North Carolina, the fruits are available from May to June. They will split open when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Individual flowers are ¾" across with 5 yellow petals, and branched brownish-purple veins occurring along the lowest petal and sometimes on the 2 lateral petals. Small tufts of hair are at the base of the two lateral petals. The lowest petal has a short blunt nectar spur. In North Carolina, the flowers are available from March to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Heart-shaped basal leaves are formed in spring which are 1.5- 2 inches long and nearly as wide. 1-2 leafy, hairy stems form which are 4-10 inches tall with alternate leaves that have hairs on the undersides and are 2-4 inches long and 2-3.5 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green stems with hairs are 4" to 10" tall.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer