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Blue Violet Species, Indigenous Flowers of Illinois



        In Illinois, there are eight recognized species of blue-violet colored Violet. Gleason and Cronquist recognized it too late when the law designated it as its state flower. According to the declaration, the official state flower of Illinois is the “blue violet”. With the many varieties of the blue violet, there’s plenty of confusion on which particular specie of blue violet will be the rightful owner of the State Flower of Illinois title.
Blue violets are indigenous flowers Illinois. The most common of this particular specie is the Viola sororia or the “dooryard violet”. It is considered as one of the most recognizable indigenous wildflowers found in the state of Illinois and one of the easily grown as well. This particular flowering plant grows either in deep shade or in full sunlight.
Most types of blue violet produce flowers of two kinds and that includes the “dooryard violet”. Common during the spring are the large showy blossoms and after these flowers’ bloom in full, the plant will now bear closed flowers smaller in size near the ground supported by short stems. Similar to small buds, these small closed blossoms are the ones that produce most of the seeds.
The petals of showy “blue violets” are edible. There are times when these petals are covered sugar making it useful for culinary purposes. Blue violet petals are often used as cake decorations, salad ingredient, stuffing for fish or poultry. Essence of Viola flowers are used to flavor Soufflés and other deserts. The young leaves of this indigenous flowering plant are edible as well, somewhat considered as a bland leaf vegetable.
Known as the “Common Blue Violet” or the Viola sororia as mentioned earlier is also the state flower of New Jersey and Rhode Island.
One of the common violas known in certain parts of Illinois is the Sweet Violet or Viola odorata. Sweet Violet is derived from the flower’s sweet scent, thus having it named after it. While Dog Violets are groups of odorless “blue violets”. Many areas in Illinois are populated with Dog Violets. It belongs to the genus that includes the many blossoms species that carry the same “violet” word on its name. Some of the species of these particular indigenous flowers are known as the Yellow Pansies found in the Pacific coasts.
Species of Viola have features of scalloped heart-shaped leaves. Other types have palmate leaves and some have other sizes and shapes. Viola’s vast majority are herbaceous, most species are. However, there are substantial numbers species as well that are considered to be acaulescent in habit. These types have its flowers produced on the leaf’s axils supported by short stems and others are without noticeable stems at all.
Cultivar varieties of viola have developed a breeding of flowers with large round petals and different novel coloration. Vast majorities of Viola blossoms are formations of five petals which is basically very distinctive in form. Viola flowers feature four fan-shaped or upswept petals affront with two petals found in each side and one broader petal that’s lobed lower as if pointing downward.

1-618-632-7441 O'fallon, Il.
1-618-235-7441 Belleville, Il
1-800-944-7441 Toll Free


La Rosa's Flowers
114 East State Street
P.O Box 518 (Mail)
O'Fallon, IL 62269


Illinois Wildflowers

Photographs, distribution maps, and detailed descriptions of many species by John

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