WILD VIOLET
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Viola nephrophylla  Greene
[=Viola pratincola Greene]
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-12 inches
Family: Violaceae - Violet Family
Flowering Period:   March, April, May
Also Called: Blue prairie violet, prairie blue violet, hooded blue violet, meadow blue violet, butterfly violet.
Stems: Stemless.
Leaves: Highly variable, entire, glabrous, egg-shaped to triangular-heart-shaped or sometimes nearly circular or kidney-shaped, 3/5 to 2.8 inches wide; base usually heart-shaped; tip tapering or rounded to blunt or pointed; margins entire to shallow-toothed; stalks 2 to 8 inches long.
Inflorescences: Solitary flowers on flowering stalks first much longer than leaves, later over-topped by leaves.
Flowers: Showy, blue to dark violet to nearly white, white to greenish-yellow at base; sepals 5, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate; petals 5, 1/3 to 4/5 inch long, lower 3 petals with dark purple veins, lateral 2 petals bearded, others beaded or glabrous; stamens 5, not erect; inconspicuous, non-opening, self-pollinating flowers also occur on erect or ascending flower stalks.
Fruits: Capsules, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, glabrous, greenish-yellow or brown; seeds numerous, tan to dark brown or purplish.
Habitat: Moist fields, open woods, stream valleys, prairie hillsides, roadsides, and waste areas.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Uses: Early settlers made a jelly from the flowers as well as a tea to treat headaches and sore throats.
Comments: The leaves are very high in vitamin A and vitamin C. The violet is the state flower of Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

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