Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 6, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire I am about 90% sure that this is Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda), particularly the palustriformis variation. This variation has lateral (side) flower petals that are hairy (with rounded tips at the end of the hairs), upper flower petals that are not strongly reflexed (bent backwards). The leaf blades are rounded or blunt at the tip and blade is ovate shaped (widest at the top of the leaf).

The violet that I identified as Smooth White Violet (Viola pallens) on April 20th may be either a variation of Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda) or Kidney-Leaved Violet (Viola renifolia).

Using the new botanical guide by Arthur Haines, Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England, you can see the flow of steps used to identify this species of violet:
  • Leaves and flower stems arising from rhizomes (underground stems) or stolons (horizontal stem creeping along the ground).
  • Flower petals mostly purple, violet or white.
  • Style (thin tube in the center of flower connecting the ovary) in a scoop-shaped or conical beak. The ovary is hairless.
  • The spur (sticking out of the back of the flower) is 3.2mm long or less and less than 2 times long as it is wide.
  • Flowers relatively smaller with white petals.
  • Leaf blades 1.5 times as long (or less) as wide.
  • Inner petals of the flower (Corolla) colored white.
  • Leaf blades low-serrate.
  • Leaf blades broad cordate (heart-shaped) and ovate (wider towards the top). Midrib 75-90% of total blade width.
  • Upper flower petals not strongly reflexed (not strongly bent backwards). Lateral flower petals commonly hairy. Leaf blades broad to rounded at the tip. Leaf blade has a wide basal sinus. This indicates that the plant is: Viola blanda var. palustriformis.
Date Location Notes Images
May 9, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire