This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.
Marsh Blue Violet can be found in the eastern half of North America and in states just west of the Mississippi River. This particular Violet varies across its range in terms of the color of its petals and the shape of its leaves which can make identifying it difficult. It looks similar in characteristics to Northern Bog Violet and Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia), but the hairs on Marsh Blue Violet are shorter than the other species. The flowers on Marsh Blue Violet are also darker in color towards the throat. Although Viola cucullata is very versitile in its sun and soil needs, it grows best in very wet habitats, like marshes, with full sun to partial shade.
The leaves of Marsh Blue Violet are a popular addition to spring salads. Historically it was used as an herbal medicine for various types of cancer and some minor maladies.
Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.
Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.
To learn more, download: Seed Starting Basics.
We dig bare-root plants from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.
Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants
Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date; shipping begins early-May and goes into June. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care are included with each order.
Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants
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