Birdfoot violet, Bird's-foot violet, Bird-foot violet
Violaceae (Violet Family)
Bird-foot violet is a low, clumped perennial,
4-10 in. high, with large, almost pansy-sized flowers. The leaves, almost round in outline, are 3/4–2 inches long, deeply cut into 3–5 segments, and these again narrowly lobed. The leaf stem
is 4–6 inches long. Flowers are pale to dark purple, broad, flat, 1–1 1/2 inches across. They have 5 petals, the 2 upper ones smaller than the lower 3 and deep violet. The lowest petal
has the dark streakings which are common to most violets. There are 5 stamens
with brilliant orange anthers.
A most beautiful Violet of dry, upland sites. Its showy, light violet-blue flowers, distinctive birds-foot-shaped leaves make it easy to identify. It is pollinated by bees and butterflies. The bicolored form of this species, with its 2 upper petals a deep violet and the lower 3 a lilac shade, has been considered the most beautiful Violet in the world. This violet does not reproduce vegetatively like most other violets. Reproduction is by seed only.
Image Gallery: 19 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit:
Green Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, DC Canada: NB
, ON Native Distribution: MA
s. to GA
& e. TX Native Habitat:
Rocky, open woods; sandy prairies & pinelands
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry, rocky, or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: This plant is particularly susceptible to crown rot if drainage is not excellent.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: