Two flower colour morphs of bird’s-foot violet are common: the solidly lilac-coloured flowers in today’s photograph and a bi-coloured version, with the upper two petals coloured a dark purple.
Bird’s-foot violet is distributed throughout the eastern USA. In Canada, it is known to currently occupy only five sites in southwestern Ontario. Of these five sites, one location has ca. 6500 individuals representing over 90% of Canada’s plants. As one might conclude, it is considered an endangered species in Canada.
The US Forest Service has a Plant of the Week site. The author for the Viola pedata entry relays a number of factual tidbits: Viola pedata is sometimes referred to as the queen of the violets; its seeds are ejected a small distance when the fruits open; ants, upon discovering the sugary-coated seeds, transport them and help with dispersal; and, long-tongued bees are one of the main pollinators.