April to August
New Jersey originally designated the state flower in 1913 but the resolution ended with the start of the 1914 legislative session leaving the violet with uncertain status for 50 years.
Legend has it that receiving violet plants as gifts is very auspicious.
Prompted by garden clubs across the state, the New Jersey State Legislature in 1971 voted to name the Common Meadow Violet as the New Jersey state flower. With the decision, the Garden State joined several other states in recognizing the Violet as a prized plant.
The Common Meadow Violet is deemed the most common of more than 400 species of violets. The perennial is commonly found growing in damp woods, roadsides and preserves. From March to June, the New Jersey state flower produces small blooms on separate, slender stalks.
Common Meadow Violets range in color from white to blue to purple. Its range in New Jersey extends from Paterson in the north of the state, to Atlantic City in the south. The Violet also flowers in Newark and Jersey City, where it sometimes shows up as a weed in suburban lawns.
The Common Meadow Violet has a relatively unique characteristic: after its showy flowers have bloomed, the plant produces a second set of blossoms. These small, closed flowers look like small buds and produce most of the Violet’s seeds.
The New Jersey state flower is not only attractive; it can also be eaten. Cooks and bakers use the Violet’s petals to adorn cakes and as ingredients in jellies and candies. Others sprinkle the Violet’s flowers into salads as a natural source of vitamins A and C. In fact, by some claims, the New Jersey state flower contains more Vitamin C than oranges do!
Full Sun/Partial Shade
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