The spring-blooming violets capture the romantic imagination of poets and songwriters. Growing in well-drained yet fairly moist areas in the hills of the Ozarks, there are dozens of different species and variations. You will see violets that are blue, purple, lavender, white, and yellow. Some are bicolored. Some are striped. Many have little fuzzy beards in the throat of the flower.
These are really a nice flower. They’re tough as nails and grow on the scruffy edges of roads and on glades where it’s dry. The foliage is subtle and lies below the large blue flat-faced flowers held on single stems coming from the center of the plant. The flowers are larger than you would expect from the foliage. The leaves, by the way, are where this plant gets its common name, Bird’s Foot Violet. Because the leaves are forked like a bird’s foot.