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Plant Details

Viola pedata

Birdfoot Violet, Bird's-foot Violet, Bird-foot Violet

Scientific Name:

Viola pedata

Genus:

Viola

Species Epithet:

pedata

Common Name:

Birdfoot Violet, Bird's-foot Violet, Bird-foot Violet

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Violaceae (Violet Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

0-1 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Purple

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry

Bloom Time:

March, April, May

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Var. pedata: Dry rocky or sandy forests, woodlands, glades, and roadbanks. Common throughout NC.
Var. ranunculifolia [Sandhills Bird’s-foot Violet]: Sandhills.

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Compound

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Recommended and Available

Notes:

This plant is particularly susceptible to crown rot if drainage is not excellent. Basal leaves only, tending to have 3 lobes.

In bloom

The large, flat flowers and deeply lobed leaves make the Birdfoot Violet one of the easiest violets to identify.

image

David Paynter, May, 2011, Watauga Co

Close-up of flower

Other distinctive traits are the beardless petals and the brilliant orange in the center. Unlike most violets, this species produces no cleistogamous flowers (self-fertile flowers that produce seed without opening).

image

David Paynter

Growing on the side of a mountain bald

Birdfoot violet forms impressive patches in the well-drained habitat that it prefers.

image

David Paynter. May 2011

It's a beautiful addition to a garden with sandy, well-drained soil and plenty of sun. Here, it is growing in the gardens of Growing Wild Nursery, a native plant nusery specializing in SE Coast natives.

image

Cary Paynter, Burgaw, April 14, 2011

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Flora of North America
NC State Extension


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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