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Viola (Winterhardy Violets)

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All Violets offered on this page are fully hardy perennials with nice foliage and showy flowers. Several species are suited as excellent ground-covering plants. Most members within this broad family grow well in any rich, well drained, and slightly moist soil during summer in a partially shaded to sunny position. A small group of utmost beautiful and very rare species with rosulate leaves (i. e. with leaves arranged in a dense basal rosette), which are native of subalpine regions in South America (Viola section Andinium), as well as most other subalpine members, such as Viola cheiranthiifolia and Viola palmensis, both native of the Canary islands, require especially in winter a good protection from excessive wetness. These species are best grown under cold glass throughout the year with a layer of grit sand or crushed lava around their base.
Sow flat at some 5°C to 15°C from autumn to late spring. Seeds require a cooling period for several months prior to germination. As it is the case in many hardy perennials, if seeds are sowed too late in the year, most will not germinate before spring the following year. Transplant seedlings in early summer or as soon as plants are strong enough. Some may flower in summer the same year already, some may need another year. Several species have two flower seasons, a major one in spring and a second, minor one in late summer, which greatly depends on weather.
All are USDA Climate Zone 6 unless stated differently.
20 seeds per package unless noted differently.
Articles
Viola adunca (Hook-spur Violet)

Viola adunca (Hook-spur Violet)

10cm, Hook-spur Violet is a herbaceous perennial native throughout western USA and Canada. It makes narrow, heart shaped, pubescent leaves and pale blue, nodding flowers. For any rich, well drained soil in a sunny spot. IV-V.

Viola aff. riviniana (La Gomera Violet) Exclusive

Viola aff. riviniana (La Gomera Violet) Exclusive

5 (10)cm, La Gomera Violet belongs to the Viola riviniana group, yet differs in various points from continental central European populations. It is native of partially shaded, slightly moist spots in the laurel forest in the central parts of La Gomera island, Spain. It is an evergreen perennial with a dense, short-stemmed, dark green leaf rosette and light blue flowers in late spring. For any humus rich, slightly moist soil in a partially shaded spot with some winter protection (e.g. a dry mulch layer). In cold winters the leaves will die down completely, however plants will make new leaves from the basal part in spring. Alternatively grow under cold glass or in an unheated greenhouse. V-VI.

Viola alba ssp. alba (White Violet)

Viola alba ssp. alba (White Violet)

15cm, White Violet is similar to Viola odorata but with pure white flowers in this subspecies alba above pale green, round to heart shaped, pubescent leaves. Native of the upper Rhine valley and the Pre-Alps. Will naturalize easily by seeds and stolons in any humus rich, well drained soil in partial shade to full sun. III-V.

Viola arvensis (Field Pansy)

Viola arvensis (Field Pansy)

10 (20)cm, Field Pansy, annual to biannual species from cultivated corn fields. Makes numerous small creamy white flowers. For any rich, well drained soil in a sunny spot. Will readily self-sow under good conditions. IV-V.

Viola bakeri (Baker's Violet)

Viola bakeri (Baker's Violet)

12 (15)cm, Baker's Violet or Yellow Prairie Violet is a perennial, short-stemmed species with elliptic-lanceolate, slightly hairy leaves and rich yellow flowers. Native of dryish meadows and open spots in woods in western USA (coastal mountains from British Columbia southwards to California and western parts of the central states). For any rich, well drained soil in a sunny spot. Seeds from a certified wild collection in Round Valley Lake, Plumas County, California, USA. V-VI.

Viola beckwithii (Great Basin Violet)

Viola beckwithii (Great Basin Violet)

10cm, Great Basin Violet is native of dry areas in open spots in pinewoods and sagebrush of the Western US (Northeastern Oregon, south to Southeastern California and eastwards to Utah and Idaho). It has dissected, greyish-green leaves in a dense more or less basal rosette and utmost showy bicolored light rose and dark lilac flowers. For any rich, well drained, rather rocky soil in a sunny spot protected from direct rain. Seeds from a certified wild collection in Lone Rock Valley, Plumas County, California, USA at some 1.675m. IV-VI.

Viola blanda (Sweet White Violet)

Viola blanda (Sweet White Violet)

12 (18)cm, Sweet White Violet is a perennial species from central and eastern North America. It has round leaves and pure white, fragrant flowers with purplish veins on the lower petals. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a sunny to partially shaded spot. IV-V.

Viola canadensis var. rugulosa (Western Canada Violet)

Viola canadensis var. rugulosa (Western Canada Violet)

15 (25)cm, Western Canada Violet makes white flowers with a yellow throat and short, dark lilac stripes on lower petals. It has quite large, cordate (= heart shaped) leaves and showy prominent veins, which is typical for this variety. From sunny spots in woods in north-western USA and western Canada. For any leafy, well drained soil in partial shade. IV-VI.

Viola cornuta (Horned Pansy)

Viola cornuta (Horned Pansy)

15cm, Horned Pansy has rather large, pale lilac blue, slightly fragrant flowers and a white center, lower petal with lilac veins above loosely arranged, oblong-narrow, dark green leaves. Native of mountain meadows and rock crevices in the Pyrenees. Seeds are from true-to-type plants and not from hybrids often offered under this name in commerce. For any well drained soil in a sunny spot in the rock garden. IV-VII.

Viola corsica ssp. corsica (syn. Viola bertolonii)

Viola corsica ssp. corsica (syn. Viola bertolonii)

10 (20)cm, Corsica Violet is a rarely seen and very ornamental violet with numerous, quite large, pale purplish to deep lilac flowers with short to medium sized spurrs above elongating, slightly prostrate stems with broadly lanceolate leaves. Corsica Violet has a very long flowering period. It is native of mountainous regions on the island of Corsica (France) at above an elevation of some 1.200m. Excellent in any well drained, preferably humus rich soil in a sunny spot. IV-VII.

Viola douglasii (Douglas' Golden Violet)

Viola douglasii (Douglas' Golden Violet)

10cm, Douglas' Golden Violet is native of grassy slopes and open spots in oak woods in Oregon and California. It has dissected leaves in a more or less basal rosette and bright golden flowers. For any rich, well drained, rather rocky soil in a sunny and preferably protected spot. Seeds from a certified wild collection in Greenville, Plumas County, California, USA. IV-VI.

Viola elatior (Tall Violet)

Viola elatior (Tall Violet)

20 (40)cm, Tall Violet makes elegant sky blue flowers with a white center above long, arrow shaped, light green leaves on tufted stems branching from the ground. Growing in moist meadows and open spots in scrub from France to N Italy, Siberia and NW China. For any leafy, well drained soil in a sunny to partially shaded spot. IV-VI.

Viola hirta (Hairy Violet)

Viola hirta (Hairy Violet)

15cm, Hairy Violet is a perennial, early flowering species similar to Viola odorata with intense sky blue to dark purplish blue (or a beautiful, unusual rose-lavender color in the Kretsch form), unfragrant flowers above a dense basal rosette of ovoid, hairy leaves. Easy in a sunny to partially shaded spot for any rich, well drained soil. Seeds from populations in Langen (Frankfurt, Germany), Kaiserstuhl (Germany), Kretsch island (Rhine, Germany), and Forêt de la Harth (France). III-V.

Viola jaubertiana (Mallorca Violet)

Viola jaubertiana (Mallorca Violet)

10 (15)cm, Mallorca Violet is a very rare, perennial, stoloniferous species endemic of Mallorca (La Serra de Tramuntana, Balearic Islands, Spain) with glossy, somewhat leathery leaves in a dense rosette. Has ornamental bright blue-purple flowers. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a partially shaded, protected spot outside or better under cold glass. In very cold winters leaves die back completely, yet the rhizome vigorously resprouts in following spring. USDA Climate Zone 6. IV-V.

Viola jooi (Transylvania Violet)

Viola jooi (Transylvania Violet)

7 (12)cm, Transylvania Violet is an elegant, yet quite rare species with shiny deep green foliage and rosy purplish flowers. For any humus rich, slightly moist soil in full to partial shade. III-V.

Viola jordanii (Jordan's Violet)

Viola jordanii (Jordan's Violet)

10 (20)cm, Jordan's Violet is a very rare perennial species from dry crevices in the Hautes-Alpes (France). Makes loosely arranged, elongated cordate leaves and pale blue flowers. For any rich, well drained soil in a partially shaded to sunny spot. IV-V.

Viola labradorica (Labrador Violet)

Viola labradorica (Labrador Violet)

15cm, Labrador Violet makes an excellent ground covering plant with highly decorative, dark purplish green foliage and deep blue flowers. For a partially shaded to shaded spot in any rich, well drained soil. Native in from the artic circle in North America extending south towards New Hampshire. III-V.

Viola lanceolata (Lance-leaved Violet)

Viola lanceolata (Lance-leaved Violet)

10 (14)cm, Lance-leaved Violet is a perennial species from North America. It has long, narrow leaves and white flowers with purplish veins on the lower petal. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a sunny to partially shaded spot. IV-V.

Viola macloskeyi var. macloskeyi (Northern White Violet)

Viola macloskeyi var. macloskeyi (Northern White Violet)

10cm, Northern White violet or Smooth White Violety is a small species found throught Canada and USA except for the southern parts. It makes lose basal leaf rosettes and white flowers with inner dark violet nerves. For any humus rich, slightly moist soil in a partially shaded to sunny spot. V.

Viola mirabilis (Wonder Violet)

Viola mirabilis (Wonder Violet)

15 (20)cm, Wonder Violet has light blue flowers on short stems which elongate after the flower period, and large, heart shaped, dark green leaves. From deciduous forests in central and N Europe, growing in rich, well drained soil in a partially to shaded spot. IV-V.

Viola mirabilis var. brachysepala (Eastern Wonder Violet)

Viola mirabilis var. brachysepala (Eastern Wonder Violet)

15 (20)cm, Eastern Wonder Violet is a rarely cultivated subspecies from Northeastern Asia. As the species is makes light blue flowers on short stems which elongate after the flower period, and large, heart shaped, dark green leaves. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a partially shaded to sunny spot. IV-V.

Viola nephrophylla (Northern Bog Violet)

Viola nephrophylla (Northern Bog Violet)

10cm, Northern Bog Violet is a perennial species found throughout North America. It has pale bluish-purple flowers and kidney-shaped leaves. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a sunny to partially shaded spot. IV-V.

Viola novae-angliae (New England Violet)

Viola novae-angliae (New England Violet)

10cm, New England Violet is a perennial species from northeastern North America. It has pale soft blue flowers and kidney-shaped leaves. For any humus rich, well drained soil in a sunny to partially shaded spot. IV-V.

Viola odorata (Sweet Violet)

Viola odorata (Sweet Violet)

10 (15)cm, Sweet Violet is native across Europe. Has sweetly scented, dark blue flowers above almost round to heartshaped. large leaves. Will naturalize easily in any rich, well drained soil in partial shade to full sun. III-V.

Viola odorata ssp. maderense (Madeira Sweet Violet)

Viola odorata ssp. maderense (Madeira Sweet Violet)

10 (15)cm, Madeira Sweet Violet is a rare subspecies growing in open spots in the laurel forest of the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores. As the species, yet with larger, more pubescent leaves and deep lilac and fragrant flowers. Fully hardy in Central Europe if grown in a protected spot in any rich, well drained soil in partial shade. IV-V.