Go Wild for Violets!

A Howard County Bee City Contest

Did you know that violets are native to Howard County and feed butterflies, bees, rabbits and other wildlife? They’re also helpful in forming a groundcover under shrubs and perennials. You may have heard that violets are a weed or have been encouraged to remove them from your landscape, but we are here to tell you they belong and they are beneficial plants!

Join us for the 3rd annual Violet Contest where we highlight the value of our native violets. We will collect entries through May15th, and winners will be announced by the week of May 29th. Prizes will be available for pickup during Pollinator Week events. You may submit as many entries to a category as you would like, or submit entries to all categories! Prizes will be awarded to the top entries in each category.


Contest Categories:

  • Violet in a Recipe: Show us how you incorporate violets into cooking, baking, or another creative, edible way!

Violets in a Garden or Yard: We want to see violets in your gardens or lawns.

Violets in Parklands: There are several species of native violets in Howard County. Can you find them in our parks? Not sure where to look? Here is a link to Howard County Parks

  • Violet artwork by a child or teen: Show us your artistic skills! Get creative with paint, draw some violets, or show off your photography.

Violets with Bees or other Insects: Can you find a miner bee collecting pollen from a violet? Or maybe you’ll see a fritillary butterfly laying eggs or their caterpillars munching on violet leaves!

  • Other Spring Natives in Your Yard: We want to see what other native plants you have coming up in your yard! Spring beauties? Woodland phlox? Bluets? We’re excited to see! Turf grass lawns are a thing of the past. Let your mower sleep until May, and give the native seed bank a chance to emerge.

  • Violets in the Classroom: Show us how you’ve brought violets into your teaching–be creative!

For example:

— Counting the violets found in a square foot (counting and measuring)

— Sowing and growing violets from seed (plant development)

— Dissecting violets and identifying the parts  (plant anatomy and reproduction)

More info:

Check out this video from our Bee City Committee member Nancy Lawson, The Humane Gardener, to discover more about the importance of violets and how you can incorporate them into your landscape!