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Arrowleaf Violet
Viola sagittata

Similar to your common violet, the Arrowleaf is distinguished because of it’s notable hastate leaves that resemble the shape of an arrowhead.

This small forb is very beneficial to a variety of wildlife. The flowers host at least two native bees, and butterflies. A multitude of insects feed on the foliage, plant juices, and other parts of the violets, as well as the cottontail rabbit and perhaps some turtles. The seeds are consumed by Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Bobwhite, and Mourning Dove. The White-Footed Mouse and probably other small rodents also eat small amounts of the seeds. Pretty impressive for a small purple flower!

Alternate Names: Arrow-leaved Violet, Upland Violet
Size: Very low to the ground 0-1 feet
Family: Violaceae (Violet Family)
Habitat: Full or partial sun, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and soil containing loam, clay, rocky material, or sand.
Identifiers: Blooms mid-spring to early summer. From Illinois Wildflowers: This perennial wildflower consists of a rosette of basal leaves and flowering stalks up to 6" tall. The blades of the basal leaves are 1½-4" long and about one-third as much across; they are sagittate or hastate in shape, slightly crenate, and occasionally ciliate along their margins. Each pedicel curves downward at its apex, causing the flower to nod. Individual flowers are about ¾" across, consisting of 5 purple-violet petals, 5 light green sepals, and the reproductive organs. Near the center of each flower, the lateral petals have small tufts of white hair. At the base of the lowermost petal, there is a patch of white with prominent purple-violet veins. There is also a nectar spur that develops from behind the lowermost petal; it is rather short and slightly curved. The sepals are linear-lanceolate in shape and hairless; they are smaller than the petals.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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