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Growers Guide for Viola – Perennial Plant

Viola – Perennial Plant, How to grow

An old Latin name for violet (Violaceae). A genus of some 500 species of hardy perennials, mainly from northern temperate regions, including violas, pansies, and violets, of which there are many hybrids and strains.

Species grown today

  • Viola adunca, hooked spur violet, to 4 inches, violet or lavender with white eye, spring, North America.
  • Viola arvensis field pansy, 6 inches, cream, Europe including Britain, Asia, annual weed.
  • Viola cornuta, horned violet, 9-12 inches, flowers violet, June to August, Pyrenees; cultivars, including the `Violettas’, derived mainly from this species, are available in shades of yellow, plum-purple, rosy-lilac, blue and white with a yellow eye.
  • Viola cucullata, 6 inches, white, veined lilac, April to June, North America.
  • Viola x florairensis, 4 inches, mauve and yellow, spring and summer. hybrid.
  • Viola. gracilis, 4-6 inches, deep violet, April to August, Balkans, Asia Minor vars. alba, white; ‘Black Knight’, purplish-black; lutea, golden-yellow; major, violet.
  • Viola hispida, Rouen pansy, to 8 inches, violet, summer, Europe. V. labradorica, 4-6 inches, porcelain-blue, summer, North America. V. odorata, see Violet.
  • Viola palmata, 6 inches, violet-purple, summer, North America.
  • Viola rupestris, Teesdale violet, to 2 inches, bluish-violet, Asia, Europe including Britain, North America.
  • Viola saxatilis, 4-8 inches, violet, summer, Europe, Asia Minor. V. x wittrockiana, see Pansy.

Where to plant and grow Violas

Violas do best in moist, well-drained soil and in light shade. Propagation of cultivars is by cuttings rooted in late summer in sandy soil in a cold, shaded frame. Species and strains are raised from seed sown in light soil in a cold, shaded frame in late summer.


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