Common blue violet by Mark A. Engler

Fast Facts

  • Proclaimed the state flower in 1968
  • The violet is also the state flower of Wisconsin, Illinois and New Jersey
  • Botanical name: Viola sororia
  • Also known as common blue violet, hooded blue violet, sister violet and wooly blue violet
  • Violet trivia: The common meadow violet is the most common one of the 400 species of violets.
  • Rhode Island Flower Delivery

Rhode Island was the first of four states to name the familiar and charming violet as its state flower but one of the last states to make its decision official. In 1897, the state’s school children choose the violet as the state’s flower over 10 other candidates. Little did they know that it would take another 60 years for the legislature to follow suit! The delay didn’t stop residents from enjoying the pretty flower.

Viola sororia by Rob RoutledgePhoto by Rob Routledge

Though it is seldom found in the southern part of the state, the Rhode Island state flower grows commonly from Warwick to Cranston and then from Providence to the state’s northern border. Violets are easy growing plants and can be found in equal numbers in gardens and in the wild. Outside of cities, the flowers are often found in meadows, woods and preserves. From April to June, the Rhode Island state flower blossoms with small multi-petaled flowers. Its blooms are snowy white or a rich, blue-purple color and grow on separate stems from their broad, heart-shaped leaves. After these showy flowers are done blooming, Rhode Island’s state flower produces a second set of blossoms. These small, closed flowers look like small buds and produce most of the violet’s seeds.

The Rhode Island state flower is not only found in the garden but it is also used in the kitchen. Violet petals are used to decorate cakes and as well as to flavor jellies and candies. The plant also provides a natural source of vitamins A and C.