This little viola is a fantastic ground cover for shady sites. It has rich dark purple foliage during the cool weather of spring and fall; as temperatures rise the color fades to a unique bronze-green. In mid-spring, small purple flowers appear just above the leaves. Plants flower sporadically all season long in regions with cool summers then re-bloom in the fall regardless of zone.
Nectar source for butterflies and other pollinators
Larval food source for many fritillary butterflies
Good ground cover for shady areas
Provides cover for small wildlife
Cardinals and other song birds eat the seed
Moist open sites; from Labrador and Ontario south to Maine.
Some butterfly species will eat a wide variety of plants while some will eat only a single plant species. For example, gray hairstreaks are happy feeding on several species while monarchs will only eat plants in the milkweed family.
Easy to grow in cool, moist, shady environment. In the north, plants tolerate full sun but prefer part to full shade. Shear plants back after the main flush of flowers to stimulate new blooms. Plants can also be cut back in early spring to remove winter-damaged foliage. Spreads by creeping stems and by self-seeding so plant in an area where this will not be a problem.