Bird's Foot Violets, Viola Pedata is an Early Blooming Ground Cover Perennial
Bird's Foot Violet's dark green leaves reach lengths between ¾ and 2 inches and are segmented into three to five on a stem. The stem itself may reach 6 inches in diameter. The clumped plant works best in the well-drained and somewhat dry soil to prevent the roots from rotting, and they thrive in partial to full sun; however, they cannot tolerate a full day of sun. When spaced about four to 6 inches apart, the plant thrives, and they're particularly fond of rocky or poor soil, which makes them a real gem for some particularly challenging landscape situations.
They reach a height of between 3 and 10 inches at maturity. These perennials are early bloomers and herald the beginning of spring in March and April. When in full bloom, they typically present with beautiful light to dark purple petals that encircle the orange center, but they also produce various blues to white and bi-color petals. Each bloom consists of five petals, and the flower is about 2 inches in diameter.
Bird's Foot Violets, Viola Pedata are Particularly Fond of Rocky or Poor Soil Conditions
Bird's Foot Violets stands to reason since Florida's soil was notoriously waterlogged in the early days. Although this perennial is not an invasive variety, it doesn't necessarily play well with others. These Violets prefer to stand alone in their stately elegance to be admired. When you have such an adaptable, pest-resistant beauty, it's easy to overlook this perennial's tendency to be a loner. Besides, it gives you a much better picture of its spectacular blooms.
Bird's Foot Violet, Viola Pedata is For Sale at TN Wholesale Nursery with Low Prices and Fast Shipping
Viola pedata (Bird's Foot Violet) features purple blooms with orange centers and grows to be 3" to 6" tall. The leaves resemble the feet of a bird. This perennial grows best in full sun to moderate shade and favors dry soil conditions, ideally sandy soils. The Edward's Fritillary butterfly, Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly, Mormon Fritillary butterfly, Coronis Fritillary butterfly, and Variegated Fritillary butterfly use Viola pedata as a larval host plant.
The perennial is a little more demanding than the other violets, but it is definitely worth the effort! Viola pedata requires well-drained soil to thrive; the plant may rot. Viola pedata needs to be clear of weeds and other aggressive plants to avoid being crowded out, but given enough room, it will self-seed rapidly. Pasque Flower, Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum), and Common Blue-Eyed Grass are great native plants that thrive in the same sun and soil conditions. This plant blooms in the mid-to-late spring and may even bloom in the fall. Some local ecotypes may have a light floral fragrance.
This perennial does not produce cleistogamous flowers, unlike other violets. The coppery seeds can be discharged several inches away from the mother plant. The seeds have a sweet substance that attracts ants, bringing the seeds back to their nests. A tuberous caudex with long coarse roots makes up the root system. Rhizomes are occasionally generated, resulting in vegetative offsets.
It thrives in open spaces and is aided by fire. Plants that have been burned have been demonstrated to produce more blooms. Also, they produce more seeds than plants that have not been damaged. Even six years after a fire, the impacts of a burn on flower and fruit yield have been found compared to unburned locations.
Long-tongued bees, tiny butterflies, and skippers are attracted to the flowers. Bumblebees and Anthophorine bees are among the spring visitors. This species' flowers attract more butterflies and skippers than other violets because they are held horizontally to the ground (facing up) and are easier to land [pguh67ju8on. Various Fritillary butterfly larvae feed on the foliage and flowers of different violet species; the caterpillars of Speyeria Idalia (Regal Fritillary) may prefer this violet species above others as a food source. As previously stated, ants are drawn to the sugary gel on the seeds and assist in their distribution.
These violets are native to northern Illinois and counties along the Mississippi River, although uncommon or non-existent. Habitats are habitats: black soil grasslands, sand prairies, hill prairies, cherty slopes, thinly forested cliffs, openings in rocky or sandy woods, sandy Black Oak savannas, and dunes along Lake Michigan. This plant is primarily found in high-quality settings. In places containing trees and bushes, fire is a valuable management tool.
Sun exposure: Full, Partial
Soil Moisture: Medium, Medium-Dry,
USDA Zone: 4 to 8
Bloom Time: April, May, June
Bloom Color: Purple
Season of Interest: Spring
Ship as: Bareroot
Height at maturity: 3 to 6 inches tall