Native Plant Spotlight: Early Blue Violet (Viola adunca)

Blooming violets

Meet Viola adunca, or Early Blue Violet.

These adorable little guys are in their full glory right now, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that they are spreading throughout my flower gardens!

Did you know that “Western Dog Violet” and “Hookedspur Violet” are other names for this delightful early bloomer?

Growth Habits

Early Blue Violet (viola adunca) in my native wildflower garden in Southern Alberta

In my experience, Early Blue Violets tolerate dry soil well. Perhaps they would do even better in moist soil! But since our area in Southern Alberta is nearing drought-like conditions, I won’t be testing this out. 🙂

They can tolerate both sun and shade. Here on the prairies, they seem to like early sun the best and then have a bit of shade in the heat of the day.

These violets spread both by seeds and rhizomes, but I haven’t found them to be a nuisance about it. You can always pull unwanted seedlings!

Bloom Time

Depending on your location and climate, or microclimate, Early Blue Violets will bloom between April- June. Ours have a fairly short bloom time since they don’t start blooming until May!

Insect Life

Apparently, these violets are the host plant for several different fritillaries (butterflies), as described here and here. So if you want to attract butterflies to your yard, planting Early Blue Violets will be a sure bet!

In Conclusion

I highly recommend planting viola adunca in your native wildflower garden. It’s a lovely, early charmer, host plant to multiple butterflies, attractive to bees, and one of the earliest native bloomers. Plus it isn’t picky about growing requirements! Win-win-win!

Check out this post for more May-blooming native wildflowers.

Happy Gardening!