Viola pedatifida – Prairie Violet


This inhabitant of moist prairies and savannas in midwestern North America has attractive lobed and dissected leaves and violet-blue flowers. The resemblance of the divided leaves to delphinium gives the plant another common name – Larkspur Violet. Note the fine lines of purple at the base of the lower center petal – these function as nectar guides to visiting insects. The caterpillars of various Fritillary butterflies feed on this and other violets, including Great Spangled Fritillary, Aphrodite Fritillary, and Silver-Bordered Fritillary.

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Violet family (Violaceae)

Photo by Jennifer Anderson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Updated 27 February 2024