Canada violet is a carefree ground cover for the moist and shady spots in your garden. It spreads via rhizomes to form colonies of heart shaped leaves, and fills with flowers following spring rains. The blossoms are white to very pale purple with cheerful yellow throats. A patch of violets might be the most quintessential image of spring. 

 

The ideal spot for a violet is where it gets early season sun and summer shade (like beneath deciduous shrubs and trees) or morning sun and afternoon shade. It is a spreader, and will periodically pop up where there is sufficient moisture. Mine seem to like appearing in the lawn from time to time (which is fine by me) but they won't spread to dry soils, so it's pretty easy to keep them in line. 

 

A blanket of Canada violet looks lovely beneath moisture loving shrubs like red-osier dogwood, thimbleberry, and black elderberry (and these shrubs in turn provide the violets with enough shade). Add some meadow-rue and large-leaf avens extra visual interest. 

Canada violet

  • Viola canadensis

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