Botanical Name

Viola papilionacea

Year Adopted


Peak Bloom

April to June


The Cherokee used the Wood Violet to treat colds and headaches.

Fun Fact

The violet is also the state flower of New Jersey, Illinois and Rhode Island and is the most popular state flower.

Wisconsin state flower - Wood Violet

Wisconsin school children picked the Wood Violet to be state flower in 1909, but it was not officially designated the state flower until 1949. They chose a flower that thrived in the state’s wet climate and woodland environment. Across the state, the Wood Violet flowers from Racine to Milwaukee and from Madison to Green Bay. These flowers actually grow in all but four of the state’s numerous counties.

For most Wisconsin residents, the Wood Violet signifies something more than popularity: it harkens the long-awaited return of spring. Come February, Violet flowers begin to unfold in the state’s wet woodlands and once snow-covered meadows. The low-growing plants spring up along roadsides, riverbeds and under tall trees.

The Wisconsin state flower consists of a long, slender stem and five purple petals. The upper petals are generally a deeper shade of purple than the other three. The two lower petals are separated by a third, broader petal upon which pollinators land.

Did you know Wisconsin residents admired the Wood Violet long before it was officially designated the state flower? Pictures of it appeared on a state stamp in 1848 – a century before its official designation. With all that it has going for it, not to mention its common presence, chances are the Wood Violet will continue to be the state’s favorite flower for many years to come.

Growing Information




Full Sun/Partial Shade


3 - 9