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Hairy Violet

Viola hirta

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Violaceae (Violet)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, mountains, roadsides, rocky places, scrub, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
Violet-coloured flowers. Similar to Dog Violets but its sepals are blunt, whereas Dog Violets have pointed sepals.
A hairy seed capsule.
A perennial flower with heart-shaped leaves. The undersides of the leaves are often hairy.
Similar-looking to Sweet Violet but the Hairy Violet is not fragrant.
Other Names:
English Violet, Florist's Violet, Garden Violet, Rough Violet, Sweet Violet.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Viola hirta is a species of violet in the family Violaceae, also known as the hairy violet or rough violet. It is native to Europe and Asia, and is a hardy, low-growing perennial. The plant has small, bright yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in fine hairs, which is where it gets its common name. It is commonly found in meadows, pastures, and along roadsides, and it can be invasive in some areas. It can tolerate a variety of soil conditions, but prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. The plant is edible and has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.


Hairy Violet (Viola hirta) is a common wildflower species that belongs to the Violaceae family. It is widely distributed across temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. The species is also known by many other common names such as rough violet, blue violet, and woolly blue violet.

The plant is easily recognizable by its delicate blue or purple flowers with yellow centers, and its hairy leaves and stems. The flowers bloom in spring, adding vibrant color to the landscape and attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The hairy leaves serve to protect the plant from herbivores and to retain moisture in its surroundings.

Hairy Violet is a hardy and adaptable species, growing well in a range of soils and habitats, from woodland clearings to grasslands and even roadsides. It is particularly well-suited to moist, shaded areas and is often found growing alongside streams and rivers.

In addition to its ornamental value, Hairy Violet has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The leaves and flowers contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, skin irritation, and coughs. The plant is also edible, with the leaves and flowers being used to flavor salads and other dishes.

Hairy Violet is a popular choice for wildflower gardens and natural landscaping, as it is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. It is also a great option for those looking to attract pollinators to their garden, as its blooms provide a valuable source of nectar for bees and other insects.

Hairy Violet is a beautiful and versatile wildflower that adds color and interest to any landscape. Whether you are looking to create a natural, wildflower garden or simply to attract pollinators to your yard, this species is definitely worth considering.

Hairy Violet is a great choice for gardeners who are interested in promoting biodiversity and preserving wildflowers. The species is a vital part of the ecosystem and provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals.

In addition to its ecological benefits, Hairy Violet has cultural and historical significance. The plant has been used in traditional medicine and folklore for centuries, and it is often associated with love, loyalty, and purity.

Despite its widespread distribution, Hairy Violet is facing a number of threats, including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species. It is important for gardeners to be aware of these threats and to take steps to protect this valuable species.

To cultivate Hairy Violet, it is best to plant the seeds in the fall or spring, in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant prefers a moist, shaded environment and should be protected from strong winds and direct sunlight. It is important to note that Hairy Violet is self-seeding, so it may become invasive in some areas if not managed properly.

Hairy Violet is a valuable and beautiful wildflower that provides a wealth of ecological, cultural, and medicinal benefits. By including this species in your garden or landscaping, you can help to promote biodiversity, preserve wildflowers, and create a healthy, thriving ecosystem.

Hairy Violet is also a popular choice for botanists and nature enthusiasts, as it offers opportunities for scientific study and observation. The plant provides an excellent example of how plants have adapted to their environment and how they interact with other species in the ecosystem.

One interesting aspect of Hairy Violet is its ability to hybridize with other species in the Viola genus. This has resulted in a wide range of different variations and subspecies, each with its own unique characteristics. This makes Hairy Violet an excellent subject for research and study, and it provides an insight into the evolution and diversification of plant species.

In terms of conservation, it is important for gardeners and land managers to be aware of the role that Hairy Violet plays in the ecosystem and to take steps to protect it from harm. This may involve creating habitat for the plant, controlling invasive species, and reducing the impact of human activities on its environment.

In addition to its ecological benefits, Hairy Violet is a source of inspiration for artists, poets, and writers. Its delicate flowers and lush foliage have inspired countless works of art and literature, and it continues to captivate people with its beauty and grace.

In conclusion, Hairy Violet is much more than just a pretty wildflower. It is a valuable and fascinating species that provides a wealth of benefits to the ecosystem, to people, and to the planet as a whole. Whether you are a botanist, a gardener, or simply a nature lover, this species is definitely worth exploring and appreciating.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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