Illinois State Flower
Identification of the Native Violet
Family: Violet (Violaceae)
Habitat: woods, meadows, waste areas
Height: 3-8 inches
Flower size: 3/4 to 1 inch wide
Flower color: blue-purple, occasionally white or bicolor
Flowering time: April to June
While the name suggests a particular color, Illinois violet comes in many colors, such as yellow, white, blue-violet, lilac-purple, and even green! Illinois has at least 30 violet species, including 25 in the Chicago area alone. Flower sizes range from one to a half inches, and most species have five petals.
Violets grow everywhere, from sunny prairies and lawns to shady woods and wetlands. Violets flower between mid-March and June, depending on their species. Among rabbits, violets are eaten whole, but ruffed grouse, mourning doves, mice, and wild turkeys eat only the seeds.
Several violet species have been the subject of nursery rhymes and poems, including \”Johnny Jump-up.\” Violets have also been referred to as \”nature\’s vitamin pills.\” They contain more vitamin C per ounce than oranges!
Gleason and Cronquist recognize approximately eight types of blue-flowered violets in the state designated as the blue-violet by the law that made the violet the state flower. There are several varieties of these violets, but the most common is the dooryard violet (Viola sororia).
The courtyard violet is one of the most recognizable native wildflowers in the state. It is also one of the easiest to grow; it Grows anywhere from full sun to deep shade.
Many violets, including the garden violet, produce two types of flowers. The large, showy flowers people associate with plants are common in spring. After the showy flowers bloom, the plant produces small, closed flowers on short stems close to the ground. These flowers look like tiny buds. It is these small indoor flowers that produce most of the seeds.
The showy flowers are edible. Purple violet flowers make different kinds of jellies and candies. The flower\’s petals are covered with sugar and are often used in cake decorations and decorations. The young leaves of the standard blue-violet are edible. Sometimes they are added in small quantities to salads.
The violet is the state flower of Illinois, with more than 30 species living and growing throughout the state. It was enacted as the official state flower symbol in 1908.
Violets are beautiful, decorative flowers appearing in lawns, meadows, and forests. It may surprise people that they are edible by both animals and humans. Fancy desserts and drinks often feature violets as edible decorations.