Wisconsin State Flower
Wood Violet (common name)
Viola papilionacea (scientific name)
In 1909, the schoolchildren of Wisconsin chose the violet to be an emblem of their state. The violet was an unofficial emblem for 40 years, until Viola papilionacea was made the official flower in 1949. Today, most sources consider Viola papilionacea to be the same asViola sororia. Viola sororia grows from rhizomes. Early in spring, the green, heart-shaped leaves emerge, one leaf per stem, usually growing in a circle. Later, buds form on separate stems that rise above the leaves. The flowers have five petals. The two petals point upwards, more or less next to each other. Two others extend outwards, one on each side. The bottom petal points downward.
Flowers are almost always purple with white to yellow mottled centers, though all-white flowers sometimes occur in the wild. Later in the summer, violets produce flowers that don’t open and remain hidden under the plant’s leaves. They pollinate themselves and later scatter the seeds, from which new plants can grow. Violets can also spread through their rhizomes. When conditions are favorable, plants can cover the ground, each forming a mat up to 50 cm wide. Most violets grow in the woods in places where there’s plenty of moisture and at least some shade.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Common meadow violet, purple violet, woolly blue violet, hooded violet
Plant: Rosette of smooth, scalloped-edged leaves; thin, straight, unbranched stems
Mature Height: 4 in (10 cm)
Flowering: March through June
Flowers: .75 in (2 cm) wide, 5 petals, yellow or white freckled center
Flower Color: Purple
Leaves: 1.2 in (3 cm wide), heart-shaped, mid-green, deeply veined
Fruit/Seed Color: Brown
Location: Any partly shaded, slightly moist location.
Range: Eastern and central U.S. and into Canada, westward through North Dakota and south through Texas.
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|Author: World Trade Press|