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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Viola canadensis (Canadian white violet)
Cressler, Alan

Viola canadensis

Viola canadensis L.

Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet

Violaceae (Violet Family)


USDA Symbol: vica4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Canadian white violet is a leafy-stemmed perennial, 8-16 in. tall. The white flowers, sometimes tinged with purple, have yellow centers. Leaves are long-petioled, heart-shaped, and deep-green. Fragrant, white, bilaterally symmetrical flowers hang and face outward at tips of short, slender, purplish stalks that grow from axils of heart-shaped, fine-toothed leaves.

The flowers growing from axils of upper leaves, and the yellow petal bases, help distinguish this lovely Violet from other white-flowered species.


From the Image Gallery

25 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Orange
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CO , CT , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: BC , MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Que. & w. NH to s. AK, across n. U.S, and s. in mts.
Native Habitat: Moist, open wooded areas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils.


Use Food: Edible flowers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds


Description: Propagation is by seed or division of plants with off-shoots.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Late May to late Jul. Often reblooms for Sep. collection. Seeds are usually scarce.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Research Literature

Reslit 2869 - Segregates of Viola canadensis (1902) Edward L. Greene

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Viola canadensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Viola canadensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Viola canadensis


Record Modified: 2018-10-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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