Violets are blooming everywhere lately. Johnny Jump Ups are on dry sunny slopes or pastures. Yellow violets are tucked into ravines. White violets are along the road and in the ravines.
Most numerous are the blue violets. They bloom in the lawn, on the hills, along the creek and in the ravines. I am used to seeing them in pale blue to vivid red purple.
Visiting the bluebells along the river I found another color. At first I thought this must be a new violet, one I hadn’t seen before.
This violet was big. Its petals were off white with purple veins and shading in the center. Yet its leaves looked like those of the blue violet.
My guidebooks made no mention of this lovely flower. Finally I found it on the Missouri Department of Conservation guidebook site. This special color of blue violet is called Confederate Violets.
For those who don’t know yet, my favorite site missouriplants.com has vanished. The man who started the site was killed by a car several years ago while on his bicycle. Evidently the domain name expired so the site vanished.
The Missouri Department of Conservation online guidebook is extensive. It is a bit confusing to use as there are so many ways to get picture lists of wildflowers and other plants. It’s at www.mdc.mo.gov with a link in the sidebar.
Since finding out about the wide range of colors and patterns found in blue violets, I’ve been noticing them more. Most are blue or, more properly blue-violet. Yet this blue can be harsh with white edges on the petals.
Still others are red purple. This is usually the harsher shade but without the white edging.
Other violets are pale lavender. These can have some light petals and darker lower petal or upper petals.
My favorites are the Confederate Violets. There is a large patch of them down along the river. They make me wish I kept a flower garden so I could move a few or better collect some seed purses to start my own.
Blue and white violets do make seed purses. They are oval and covered with soft hairs.
Common violets may be common. That doesn’t mean they are boring.