Landscape Alert – Violets in Your Lawn Is a Good Thing

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Violets are great for butterflies! One of the many you will find growing is Viola sororia, a native plant that readily spreads in shady lawns and plantings.

Violets in lawn

Fritillary butterflies such as the Great Spangled and Variegated use the plant as a host for their caterpillars. Native bees such as mining bees, mason and sweat bees use the plants for nectar in the spring. Wild animals such as turkey, deer, rabbits, bobwhites and doves eat the plants. Even people get in on the act collecting violet leaves and flowers as salad.

Violets in lawn

As people become more aware and begin to transition landscapes into more environmentally friendly places, old ideas of constitutes weeds are changing. Many of the landscape methods that we utilize have negative environmental repercussions. By making simple changes such as using less herbicides to control lawn weeds, choosing native over exotic plants, removing invasive plants and leaving our leaves in the fall, we can create and restore habitat in our home landscapes. By creating natural diverse habitats, we are helping pollinator insects, wildlife and native flora so they will be around in the future.

leave the leaves

One of the easiest things you can do to make your landscape more environmentally friendly is to leave the leaves each fall. Many kinds of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals depend on the fallen leaves and seeds for shelter, food and habitat.