Viola, Common Violet, Hooded Violet, Meadow Violet, Sister Violet 'Freckles'

Viola sororia

Family: Violaceae (vy-oh-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viola (vy-OH-la) (Info)
Species: sororia (so-ROR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Freckles
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade




Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Light Blue


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Caseyville, Illinois

Des Plaines, Illinois

Durham, Maine

Spencer, Massachusetts

South Lyon, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Auburn, New Hampshire

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Manasquan, New Jersey

Averill Park, New York

Clinton, New York

Bessemer City, North Carolina

Williamsburg, Ohio

The Dalles, Oregon

Columbia, South Carolina

Essex Junction, Vermont

Blacksburg, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mukwonago, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 30, 2009, audrebytes from South Lyon, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

i have mine growing in full sun, and they do just fine. they self-sow around my driveway all the time and the heat from the black asphalt is intense but they stick it out and keep reseeding.

they also grow in partial shade, and do a bit better with lusher flowers with bigger petals. in too much heat, the flowers get really small but still, the hardy plant does it's best to put on a show.

even after the blooms, i love the small mounds of dark green leaves.

overall, i'm quite happy to have them show up where they will anyplace in my garden.


On Sep 30, 2006, raydio from Bessemer City, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love the way they self-seed so abundantly though this is one thing some people have against it.

I like the white ones with the blue face and the one named 'Freckles' best.

Note: If you are trying to control their spread (they will fling their seed quite a distance!) along with dead-heading in the spring, be sure to check again in Autumn when the cleistogamous seeds emerge under the leaves.


On Oct 17, 2002, Baa wrote:

A pretty little Viola sororia bearing white flowers splashed and streaked with violet-blue.

Loves a well drained, humus rich soil in light to full shade.

Spreads and self-seeds abundantly where happy.