Known as the Common Blue Violet, this is a stemless herbaceous perennial plant that is native to eastern North America. It is known by a number of common names including; Common Meadow Violet, Purple Violet, Woolly Blue Violet, Hooded Violet and Wood Violet. It is the state flower of Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Self-seeding freely, in lawns and gardens it can become a weed. Cleistogamous seed heads may also appear on short stems late summer, early autumn.
Beyond its use as a common lawn and garden plant, Viola sororia has historically been used for food and for medicine. The flowers and leaves are edible, and some sources suggest the roots can also be eaten. The Cherokee used it to treat colds and headaches. Rafinesque, in his Medical Flora, a Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America (1828–1830), wrote of the species being used by his American contemporaries for coughs, sore throats, and constipation.