Plant DetailShow Menu

Viola renifolia

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la ren-ee-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Kidney-leaved violet is a native wildflower of northern parts of North America and grows as far north as zone 3.   This violet grows in spruce and temperate coniferous forests in swampy wooded areas.

Boasting beardless white petals, the lower 3 petals have purple streaks.  

The common name, Kidney-leaved stems from the shape of the leaves when flowering.  After flowering is complete, the leaves will take a more heart shape and will also enlarge.  The largest leaf blades which are broader than long will enlarge from 3/4"-2" wide to 3 1/2" long and wide.  The upper leaf surface is smooth, the lower surface it typically hairy, but occasionally hairless.   

Occasionally confused with similar varieties of violas with white flowers.  With Viola macloskeyi, the most distinguishing characteristic is that it spreads by thread-like stolons or runners, Viola renifolia does not have these runners. While Viola canadensis has heart shaped leaves, the leaves of Viola renifolia has kidney-shaped foliage.  Both varieties mentioned are usually bearded, again Viola renifolia differs as it is not bearded.

It will not spread by runners or stolons to form a groundcover.  However, a light groundcover can be achieved over time by its self seeding.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  In some locations, livestock grazing and trampling this plant has led to its disappearance in those locations.  Other locations report this plant as threatened.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennial#nectar plant#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#northern climate#pollinator plant#larval host plant#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#fritillary butterflies
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennial#nectar plant#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#northern climate#pollinator plant#larval host plant#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#fritillary butterflies
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    renifolia
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern North America
    Distribution:
    AK , CO , CT , IA , ID , MA , ME , MI , MN , MT , NH , NY , PA , RI , SD , VT , WA , WI , WY
    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.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The smooth, purple capsule is nearly globular. The seeds are brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/4 - 1/2 inch white flowers with brownish-purple lines on the lower petal and occasionally the lateral petals. The lateral petals may be bearded with small tufts of white hairs. Blooms April-June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Reniform
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Heart to kidney-shaped basal leaves with hairs on the undersides and sometimes on the upper leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Leafless stalk.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer