Birds Foot Violets are called viola pedata. The grow to from 3" to 6" inches in height with purple flowers with orange centers. The leaves are shaped like birds feet and grow well in dry conditions and sandy soil. The best conditions are full sun or partial shade.
It is harder to grow this type of violet, but results are stunning. They need well-drained soil so that they do not rot. They need to be weeded and not put near other aggressive plants or flowers that take over. It is self-seeding plant and does not last a long time. It blooms best in early spring.
It can be planted from a seed packet which often contains about 50 seeds. It should be planted with 4 to 6 inches between plants or seeds. It needs full sun or partial shade. It thrives in dry soil. The best time for blooming in April, May, and June for these special violets. It is available to be grown from seeds or roots.
It is the leaves that look like birds feet. Seeds are often dispersed from the plant over five meters from the plant. Sometimes the seeds are carried by ants to their nests.They consume the sugary outer coating then drop them in fertile soil where they can grow. The plants grow in grasslands, meadows, and fields.
In New England, they are found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Leaves grown only at the base of the plant and the flowers range from blue to purple. It only occurs in non-wetlands areas. This plant sometimes blooms during the fall. It attracts bees and butterflies.
Seeds are best sewn in fall and let nature do the rest. They do well in the greenhouse and early spring when the danger of frost is past. They make a good ground cover in shady areas, rock gardens, borders and edging. They grow well in several states in the US check before ordering seeds or roots.