February 23, 2020

Boggy Beauty

Viola lanceolata

Viola lanceolata - Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Viola lanceolata is a petite perennial herb that prefers wet conditions in sandy to peaty soil. Also known as lance-leaved violet and bog white violet, the plant can be as tiny as less than an inch tall or grow to more than 6 inches in height. Its flowers, which appear from April to June, are white with striking purplish lines on the lower petals. The leaves have toothed edges, with the blade widest in the middle. This member of the violet family is widespread in Maine, although in Vermont it is a threatened species.

Wild Wednesday is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Glen Mittelhauser of the nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory, www.mainenaturalhistory.org.