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February's Flower: Violas (Violets and Pansies)

By dave
February 1, 2016

Violets are February's Birth Flower. Let's learn about these dainty little spring blooming plants.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America
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Feb 1, 2016 4:42 PM CST
I love the colors, the flower, and the name. They grow wild here and there are many different kinds/colors.

I love all things violet Lovey dubby

Great article and photo's Dave, thank you! Thumbs up
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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Feb 1, 2016 7:42 PM CST
I also love all things violet. Smiling We don't seem to have any growing wild in my neck of the woods, but I've put them in my greenhouse, and I'm getting small plants coming up here and there. My mom loved them when they did grow in her woods in Indiana. She shared her love of them, and it continues on. My girls now love them too, but they have to grow them also.
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Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Deer Ponds
Foliage Fan Ferns Hellebores Irises Peonies Amaryllis
Feb 2, 2016 7:17 AM CST
My grandmother loved violets. Out of her 19 grandchildren, I was the only one born in February and she always made violets the theme for my birthday gifts. They were mostly odds and ends of china with violet patterns that she gave me from what she had laying about her house. I cherish those gifts from my childhood and still have them today, and violets whether in china patterns or in the gardens are dear to me. Violets do well in my shady woodland. In addition to the sweet violet that dave mentioned in the article, other favorites that I have in my gardens include striped cream violet (viola striata) which has white flowers, palmate violet (viola palmata) which I love for its trilobed leaves, and bird's foot violet (viola pedata) which I also love for its unusual leaves.

I have many other violets, but a real gem that I've recently added to my growing violet collection is Appalachian Blue violet (viola walterii 'Silver Gem').

Can you tell I love violets as much or more than my grandmother did Smiling
[Last edited by aspenhill - Feb 2, 2016 7:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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Feb 3, 2016 5:51 AM CST
Nice article, Dave. Violets do lend a cheery face to the landscape in spring.
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
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Feb 3, 2016 11:45 AM CST
Thank you for writing about violets, Dave.

Throughout our dry, full and partial shade, Viola labradorica has made the most enchanting "weed", an answer to blue23rose's quote, "May all your weeds be wildflowers."

Aspenhill, thank you for mentioning Viola waterii 'Silver Gem'. I looked it up and it looks like it might be another viola treasure to add to my garden.

Having said the foregoing, I used to think I could not grow Viola cornuta, because it fried in our summers. However, through a happy accident, I have discovered I can plant out plants of it from November into January (although October would be best), and it will bloom during winter into May any time the temperature rises. Who knew a flower balking at summer heat in our z7 garden would make such a gorgeous winter flower?

Viola is a huge genus - lots to discover, imho.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Feb 4, 2016 11:15 AM CST
I have V. odorata which has no discernible scent to me (sometimes my nose 'misses' certain flowers) as well as Johnny Jump-ups here and there. They are both very jolly plants.
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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 5, 2016 7:49 AM CST
Johnny jump ups and pansies are my favorite winter annual. I don't have a problem with reseeding but then again I haven't had spreading of V. odorata either.
Name: Christine
Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Zone 5a)
Feb 6, 2016 12:42 PM CST
I let the violets spread when I first started gardening here. Eventually I had to make a decision, and out they came. I loved those little johnny Jump Ups that seemed to come on their own and even added in some beautiful apricoty orange ones. I seem to remember that they didn't come back, at least not like those little purple and yellow Johnny Jump Ups! Now I am planting for the birds, bees and butterflies. Perhaps time to see if any violets will fit the bill. Thanks for an interesting article!

Name: Charlotte
Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 6b)
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Feb 7, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Everybody is talking about woodland and shade, but I have had violets in my sunny lawn, pink ones and white ones. Grew Freckles and others (I think I had a yellow one too) years ago in some shade, but years of neglect and they are gone. Will have to see if I can dig some up from the lawn this year if they come up again and move into the garden.

Thanks for your article; it brought back some good memories.
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
Feb 12, 2016 6:13 AM CST
I'm not sure if they are all native to my area, but my property borders a moist marshy area which is also wooded. There are bright yellow. white with a blue blush and of course violet flowered varieties. The white with a blue blush and the yellows tend to be taller and lesser in numbers. They seem to be more prevalent in the sunnier areas. Their early blooms are very welcome, no matter what their color. They are shallow rooted and my soil is very sandy , so it is not difficult to pull or move them if they are not in a desired area.
Name: Dennie
Indiana (Zone 6a)
Mar 6, 2016 9:48 PM CST
I live in Northern Indiana and a week ago one of my Johnnny Jump Ups bloomed. It snowed the next day and the flower shriveled but came back. Mine are planted in a dry sunny location and reseed and bloom wonderfully
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Apr 21, 2017 11:29 AM CST
It would be nice to have Violets and Violas forum. They are such lovely plants and need to be recognized more. Maybe if we had one (V. Forum) more people would share their beauties.
1. Violas and Pansies mixed in color bowls from November to now (April 21)
2. Viola odorata 'The Czar'
3. Viola blanda White Sweet Violet
4. Viola odorata sulphurea

Thumb of 2017-04-21/evelyninthegarden/b2712a

Thumb of 2017-04-21/evelyninthegarden/28f53d

[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Apr 22, 2017 11:45 PM (+)]
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