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This delightful little flower is a harbinger of spring in many gardens, but also adds charm to a fall or winter garden depending on your region. The flowers are edible and can be used to wonderful effect on cakes and in salads.

Latin Name

Viola tricolor



Also Known As

Heart's Ease Love-in-idleness

Type of Plant

Annuals Annuals

Bloom Season

April - May


Spring Spring
Fall Fall


Max height Max Height: 0.5'
Max spread Max Spread: 0.5'


  • Annual
  • Flower Border
  • Edible

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Shade Full Shade
    Full Sun Full Sun
    Part Shade Part Shade
    Part Sun Part Sun


    Native Range



    The first known documented citation of this plant is by John Lawson in History of Carolina in 1718.

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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