Jul. 5, 2018

wood violet, Viola palmata

Illinois' state wildflowers are violets. It's tempting to compare their choice to driving by Chicago, but that would be so wrong. Violets are beautiful and fun. But Illinois did not pick a specific species, which creates an opening for this bit of confusion. When we think violets, we think those simple little heart-shape leaves. Wood violets have those. At first. Then they start growing leaves more like the one you see here. The number of lobes and width varies. Consequently, this also creates an opening for the lumpers and splitters among botanists. These plants are often divided into two or even more species. Here we will be lumpers, and throw them all in the same pot. These kinds of violet grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN(R), KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME(X), MI, MO, MS, NC, NH(E), NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI(T), SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, and ON(X). Lenawee Co MI, 5/15/17.