Wild violets are such an attractive and seemingly delicate flower that four states, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Illinois, designated some type of violet as their state flower. There are over 80 species in the U.S., with most having some common features.
Most wild violets have heart-shaped leaves, but some do possess much narrower ones with noticeably indented leaves. Those with heart-shaped leaves form a "cup" close to the stem, as the leaves fold around the stem to create a funnel effect.
Wild violets grow in clumps and their root system is very dense. Violets can take over an area, especially in a shady and moist part of a lawn next to a wooded area.
The flowers of the wild violet have five elegant petals that are typically some shade of purple or occasionally blue, although some species are a shade of white. In the centres, there can be white or yellow splashes. The flowers grow on stalks without leaves that rise from the plant.
The leaves of wild violets often survive fall and winter frosts but cannot live through a prolonged covering of ice and snow. By May, most violets have blossomed.
Violets grow low to the ground, and few wild violets exceed a height of 10 inches.