Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Violets

After dandelions, violets may be the native plants most frequently spotted on Iowa homeowners’ lawns. While we usually think of violets as being blue or purple, I’ve also seen many yellow and white violets around the neighborhood and along bike paths. According to Wildflowers of Iowa Woodlands by Sylvan Rukel and Alvin Bull, “Numerous [violet] species found in the state are highly variable and frequently hybridize. Identification is highly technical.” So, I haven’t attempted to figure out which species in the large Viola family are represented in the pictures below. They have one thing in common: heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges. These leaves often remain long after violets have stopped blooming in early to mid-summer.

Violets have frequently been used in traditional medicine and in some modern herbal remedies, but I’ve never tried ingesting any form of this plant.

This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

I see blue violets dotting many lawns in my neighborhood. Here are some in a wooded setting.

blue/purple violets photo purpleviolets_zpsa3dfcf72.jpg

These blue violets can be easily overlooked under the showy Virginia bluebells. I think that yellow flower is a swamp buttercup. It’s some kind of buttercup for sure.

Bluebells, buttercup, violets photo bluebells_buttercup_violets_zps62a4329f.jpg

In this picture, the large yellow bellwort blossom overshadows the surrounding yellow violets.

bellwort flower with violets photo bellwort_violets_zps2dac89b1.jpg

Here’s another cluster of yellow violets. The overexposed white flowers (sorry) are rue anemone.

 photo yellowviolets_rueanemone_zpsf0ab99a6.jpg

Most white violets have purple veins, as seen here.

white violet photo whiteviolet_zpsee2148e8.jpg

Tags: Wildflowers

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