In early to mid spring the violets bloom. This little beauty was photographed April 18, 2011, in Green Lane, PA., USA, in a hardwood forest. They like partial shade, rich soil, and moisture. Although they grow as individuals instead of clumping together, the forest floor is dotted with their blue, purple, and pale blue blossoms. A couple weeks later the yellow violets begin.
Most violet species are perennials (I'm speaking kind of broad brush here, and these plants have a fair amount of diversity), on the small size, and grow in the temperate portions of the northern hemisphere. Spring is the most common blooming season.
Wild violets are considered annoying by some, especially in their fescue lawns; I like the violets.
Violet flowers can be eaten in salads, are sometimes candied and used as decorations on cakes, and the heart-shaped leaves can be used as greens when young, but they are said to be relatively tasteless.
More people know the violet "cousins" primula and viola - c...