Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata)

Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata) 

The Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata), also known as the Blue Marsh Violet, Purple Violet and Hooded Violet, is a perennial forb of the Violacceae (Violet) Family and order Violales. (Some authorities list the order as Malpighiales.)  The order, family and genus names are from the Latin for "violets." The species name is from the Latin for "hood-like." This plant prefers wet areas that are somewhat shaded.

The flowers have five petals, two on the top and three on the bottom with the middle, bottom petal being smaller than the outer petals. Unlike other violets, the petals are somewhat open. Each flower is from one to 1½ inch (2.54 to 3.8 centimeters) wide. The flower color can vary from violet to blue to pure white. The violet or blue flowers will normally have white centers and streaks of white on the petals. The flowers can be as tall as 8 inches (20 centimeters) and rise well above the leaves.

 

Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata) Detail

The leaves are curled, oval to kidney shaped with a heart-shaped base and small, rounded teeth. They form a basal cluster up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide. Each leaf is slightly wider than a flower.

The fruit is a capsule about ¼ inch (10 millimeters) long, which spits at maturity releasing a great many small seeds.

The root system is a rhizome.

This plant blooms from April to June.

The leaves of this plant can be used to flavor salads. This plant is also used to produce an herbal medicine to treat cancers and cloughs.

 

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