Bird-foot Violet

Viola pedata

(c) Becknell and Lucas Media, www.bigeastern.com

Bird-foot Violet is one of many species of violets in our area. This plant has blue-violet flowers and leaves shaped like a bird's foot. It grows up to 10 inches tall.

Bird-foot Violet grows in dry fields, clearings in woods, and roadsides.

Leaves grow up to two inches long and are fan-shaped with three lobes (finger-like parts). Each lobe has small teeth on the edges. The petioles (leaf stems) can grow to six inches long.

Bird-foot flowers are usually bluish, but can range from white to purple. Each flower has five petals. Flowers are larger than those on most other violets. They bloom from March to June.

Bird-foot Violets are perrennial, meaning they don't die in Winter.

Eleanor S. Saulys

William S. Justice, PLANTS

Eleanor S. Saulys

These plants spread by rhizomes, underground stems that grow sideways. Rhizomes can send up new stems to make new plants.

Because of the way rhizomes spread, if you see one violet, you will usually see many. The rhizomes make "colonies" of many plants.

Bird-foot Violet fruits are small capsules, up to nine millimeters long, full of small seeds. Seeds are eaten by birds, including Mourning Dove, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, and Dark-eyed Junco. White-footed Mice also eat seeds.

Leaves and stems are eaten by rabbits.

Bird-foot Violet, and other violets, are used by some butterflies as host plants. Butterflies, such as the Great Spangled Fritillary, lay their eggs on the plant stems. When caterpillars hatch, they immediately start eating the violet's leaves.

(c) Becknell and Lucas Media, www.bigeastern.com

Butterflies and bees visit flowers for nectar. This helps the violets, since they get pollinated.

Bird-foot Violets often grow under Black Oaks. Usually they are found with other weeds and grasses.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Eastern Cottontail

Great Spangled Fritillary

Black Oak

Great Spangled Fritillary Pa

Great Spangled Fritillary

Garden Centipede

Common Dandelion

Honey Bee Po

Honey Bee

Goldenrod Spider

English Plantain

Golden Northern Bumble Bee Po

Golden Northern Bumble Bee

Isopod

Smooth Crabgrass

Cabbage White Po

Mourning Dove

Ring-legged Earwig

Switchgrass

Clouded Sulphur Po

Northern Bobwhite

Common Black Ground Beetle

Red Clover

Wild Turkey

Pennsylvania Firefly

Common Ragweed

Dark-eyed Junco

Green Stinkbug

Wild Strawberry

White-footed Mouse

Black Carpenter Ant

Cabbage White

Daring Jumping Spider

Clouded Sulphur

North American Millipede

Relationship to Humans:

Bird-foot Violets, and other violets, are considered by most people to be beautiful. Some people try to grow them in their gardens. They are also appreciated since they attract wildlife, such as butterflies and bees.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Violales
FAMILY
Violaceae
GENUS
Viola
SPECIES
Viola pedata

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