Viola nephrophylla

Northern bog violet growing on the edge of a marshy field.

Violets are truly wonders of spring. In BC, there are 20 native species with flowers ranging in colour from white to yellow to lavender to, well, violet. Most flower early in spring and their small stature lends us the phrase “shrinking violet”. Ground nesting spring bees feast on the pollen and nectar, and the flowers and young leaves of most species are edible.

Fun Facts about Violets

  1. Greater Fritillary butterflies caterpillars feed exclusively on violets.
  2. Violets spread their seed by catapulting them out of the seed pod – known as ballistic seed dispersal. The seeds then enlist ants to carry them even further away and bury them in the soil.