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Pest Information

Common Blue Violet

Common Blue Violet

  • Latin Name: Viola papilionacea
  • Common Name: Common Blue Violet
  • Other Names: Meadow violet, hooded blue violet, woolly blue violet

Pest Details

Common Blue Violet
Common Blue Violet
Common Blue Violet


A native plant found in every state east of the Rocky Mountains, and in eastern Canada.


A perennial that reproduces by seeds, but also spreads aggressively by its rhizomes to form extensive colonies of plants that can crowd out other low-growing vegetation such as turf. It is commonly sold as an ornamental garden plant and escapes from there to other areas. A common turf problem it also is found in landscape, roadsides, damp woods and meadows, and other disturbed, moist sites.


Plants are low growing and without hairs on either stems or leaves. The leaves arise from the base of the plant on fairly long stalks, and they are heart-shaped and pointed at the tip. The margins have rounded teeth. The flowers are normally dark purple to blue, but may vary to lighter colors or white. There are 5 petals, with the lateral petals “bearded”. The flower stalks also arise from the base of the plant and are about the same length as the leaves, placing the flowers in amongst the leaves.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

In turf a selective, systemic, broadleaf herbicide will be effective, along with an application of a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent seed germination. Physical removal is likely to leave rhizomes behind, and result in ineffective control.

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