Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

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.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Viola sororia (Missouri violet)
Cressler, Alan

Viola sororia

Viola sororia Willd.

Missouri Violet, Common Blue Violet, Hooded Blue Violet, Florida Violet, Meadow Violet, Confederate Violet, Dooryard Violet, Purple Violet, Woolly Blue Violet, Wood Violet, Hooded Violet

Violaceae (Violet Family)

Synonym(s): Viola floridana, Viola latiuscula, Viola palmata var. sororia, Viola papilionacea, Viola papilionacea var. priceana, Viola priceana

USDA Symbol: viso

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

The glossy, heart-shaped leaves of this 6-10 in. violet are topped by purple flowers with conspicuous white throats; the three lower petals are somewhat hairy. The erect flower stem droops slightly, as if bending its head toward the ground. Perhaps that is why the flower is associated with modesty and decency (Andy Fyon).

As well as the normal flowers there are often flowers near the ground that fail to open, but their whitish fruit produces vast quantities of seeds. Violet leaves are high in vitamins A and C and can be used in salads or cooked as greens. The flowers can be made into candies and jellies. The Marsh Blue Violet (V. cucullata), a similar species of very wet habitats, has dark blue-centered flowers borne well above the leaves.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Green with purple

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , 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
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: E. NC to FL & LA
Native Habitat: Rich, moist woods; swamps

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Easily grown in average, medium wet, well-drained soil. Prefers humusy, moisture-retentive soils. Does not spread by runners, but freely self seeds to the point of being invasive in optimum growing conditions.


Use Food: Violet leaves are high in vitamins A and C and can be used in salads or cooked as greens. The flowers can be made into candies and jellies. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: High


Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
June 20, 2007
I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower,...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
March 19, 2007
I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for moist shade in Missouri
January 16, 2005
I live near Adrian, Mo (s of KC by an hour). I currently have a small hillside that is covered by trees and shaded all day and also seems to hold moisture really well. The hill seems to grow a littl...
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:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX

Web Reference

Webref 16 - Ontario Wildflowers (0)

Research Literature

Reslit 2805 - Flowering dates of Viola sororia Willd. and V. pensylvanica Michx. at different latitudes (1959) T. A. Mcconnell, N. H. Russell
Reslit 2806 - Studies in the photoperiodic responses of violets (Viola) (1960) N. H. Russell
Reslit 2807 - The population biology of the genus Viola: I. The demography of Viola sororia (1980) O. T. Solbrig, S. J. Newell, D. T. Kincaid
Reslit 2808 - Studies on the population biology of the genus Viola. II. The effect of plant size on fitness in Viola sororia (1981) O. T. Solbrig
Reslit 2809 - Environmental and genetic determinants of plant size in Viola sororia (1985) A. E. Antlfinger, W. F. Curtis, O. T. Solbrig
Reslit 2810 - Fertilization and mowing on persistence of Indian mockstrawberry (Duchesnea indica) and common blue violet (Viola papilionacea) in a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) lawn (1993) E. Gray, and N. M. Call
Reslit 2811 - Forest floor plant response to lime and fertilizer before and after partial cutting of a northern red oak stand on an extremely acidic soil in Pennsylvania, USA (2001) M. C. Demchik, W. E. Sharpe
Reslit 2812 - The number and size of seeds in common versus restricted woodland herbaceous species in central Iowa, USA (2004) C. M. Mabry
Reslit 2813 - Four nomenclatural changes in Viola (Violaceae) (2010) R. J. Little, L. E. Mckinney
Reslit 2845 - HYBRIDISM IN THE GENUS VIOLA (1904) Ezra Brainerd

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2020-02-11
Research By: LAL

Go back