Viola (including pansies)

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Daisy

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Viola (including pansies)
« on: August 25, 2011, 09:08:19 AM »
This is pansy Rippling Waters. It started flowering in March.




 It is still flowering now at the end of August! Other plants have grown up in front and around it, but it is still doing it's thing!



It is the hottest sunniest part of the garden too!
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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MikeHardman

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Re: Pansy
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 05:00:50 PM »
They (and you) have done well, Daisy!

Have you tried Viola cornuta?
In hot sunny conditions it should fare better than pansies - so could be spectacular for you :)
It is something I dearly want to try for myself in Cyprus.

(post-merger of topics, please refer to my detailed posting above)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 10:48:23 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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MikeHardman

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Viola cornuta
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 11:43:19 PM »
Well, a search of the forum turned up nothing for Viola cornuta, so let me rectify that!

Has anybody here tried Viola cornuta, horned violet, in a mediterranean garden? ...Successfully or not.

It comes from the Pyrenees, and not the highest elevations, so it is in the right ball-park.
But I have never (in my short experience, in Cyprus) seen it for sale in local nurseries.

It is something I dearly want to try for myself in Cyprus.
It is perennial, clump or mat forming, floriferous, varied in colour, scented in some cases, and should be easy to propagate.

I am interested in seeing how long it flowers for here (well not actually here - I am in Gabon just now - marvels of the internet and all that!).

When I researched and wrote my article on Viola cornuta in The Plantsman (March 2007), I found myself almost drooling over the photos the MacGregor's allowed me to use (expertly grown by Elizabeth, photo'd by Alasdair). I don't have permission to use Alasdair's most salivatory photos here, but this page on their web site shows a border nicely packed with several cultivars. You can search their catalogue for 'Viola cornuta' to see more photos and get an idea of the range of colours.
Elizabeth grows them well in the cool dampness of Kirkudbightshire, in the southwest of Scotland. ...Seems a long way, ecologically, from there to Cyprus, I know!

Here's a shot of the flowers and seed pods side-on - showing the very characteristic long spur. This is the wild species; typical blue petals; growing in scrubland near Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrénées, France.

So, if you've got any experiences to talk about, please reply!

I hope this thread will act as a repository for experiments and experiences concerning V. cornuta, by others and myself, as time goes by.


Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Umbrian

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Re: Pansy
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 06:18:03 AM »
Lovely photographs Daisy! :)
I have "wild" violets,  not sure which, that repeat flower all through the year especially when in cooler shaded positions. I was given some plants of Viola sororia in the spring but have not yet planted them out but am hoping they will be successful as I grew them in the UK and loved them. :)
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Daisy

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Re: Violas
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 08:08:57 AM »
The only other violas I have tried so far, have been a couple of hybrids. Rebecca and Etain.
I am sorry to say, that they slowly dwindled away during their first summer.
However, Viola riviniana 'Purpurea Group' (generally sold under the name Viola labradorica Purpurea) had seeded into some of the pots of plants I bought with me from Cornwall. It has settled down and is now seeding around a little.

Mike. I have some questions about Viola cornuta. I will ask them on the other thread.

Umbrian. I had Viola sororia, in shade, in my old garden in Cornwall.
It made lovely big clumps behind the tool shed ;D
I hope yours do well for you.
Daisy :)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 10:09:53 AM by Alisdair »
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

Daisy

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Re: Violas
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 08:32:36 AM »
Mike,  I would very much love to grow any sort of violas in my garden.
However, after losing Rebecca and Etain, I am wary of trying more. :( :( :(
I would love to hear which ones you think it might be worth having another go with.
I am at 300 metres above sea level on sandy loam. The garden faces north west.
Thank-you. Daisy :)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 10:10:15 AM by Alisdair »
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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Alisdair

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Re: Violas
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 10:16:37 AM »
I have merged the various messages about violas and pansies into this single thread. (So as to keep the structure of the forum as simple as possible, we decided from the outset to use the genus level rather than the species level as topics - within a thread, if you want to differentiate the subject of your message, remember that once you have clicked on Reply you can always change the subject line from whatever comes up as the default, e.g. to name the species you will be talking about.)
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Daisy,
re
Quote
Mike,  I would very much love to grow any sort of violas in my garden.
However, after losing Rebecca and Etain, I am wary of trying more.  
I would love to hear which ones you think it might be worth having another go with.
I am at 300 metres above sea level on sandy loam. The garden faces north west.
Thank-you. Daisy

'Rebecca' and 'Etain' are bedding violas, rather than V. cornuta cultivars per se.
I think the latter would be worth a go. They should not prove too fussy about soil or aspect, but they won't do in much shade. Certainly, 300m altitude is no problem. What I don't know about is how best to water them (or not) in a mediterranean climate. In the Pyrenees, they don't have to go months without a drop. I hope I/we can find that out by experience or from others. I would suggest growing them in the ground, or if in a pot make it a big one.

Tip:
Very many pansies and bedding violas have a yellow eye to the flower. That's because their parents do.
V. cornuta does not; it has a white eye. And that can be a clue as to how much cornuta 'blood' a viola, sensu lato, has in it.

If you grow several cultivars, or even just the blue and white forms of the species, be aware that they will hybridize. As with blue and white bluebells grown together, where you get some mauve offspring, a similar thing will happen with horned violet.

There are other species to try; not quite like bedding violas, though.
For instance:
- V. scorpiuroides (Crete and Libya; small yellow scented flowers; something of a curiosity)
- V. arborescens (western Med., near the coast; small mauvy flowers; of lesser garden interest unless you're a Viola nut!)
- V. allchariensis (Macedonia; purple flowers)
- V. eugeniae (central Italy; yellow or purple flowers; can be very floriferous)

And I must mention a special group of three:
- V. delphinantha (Greece, Mt. Olympus; and Bulgaria (secret location))
- V. kosaninii (Macedonia, mountains, just creeping into N. Greece)
- V. cazorlensis (Spain, mountains, eg. Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas)
The last three all have pink flowers with slender petals and a very long spur. The leaves, like the first three, are divided into narrow strips. They are also sub-shrubby. The overall effect can be a little like a Phlox douglasii.
Go to International Rock Gardener, March 2010, search (CTRL-F) for 'Viola kosaninii' and you will see a photo of a lovely collection of all three growing together in tufa in the garden of Vlastimil Pilous. Scroll down to the next page for some photos closer-up. Tempted?
These three may not be as difficult as the rosulate Violas from the Andes, but I suspect they would probably prove a bit fussy, at least at first.
If you want to have a go, do what I plan to do: email Vlastimil. I noticed a posting on GardenWeb":
"I have received seeds from Vlastimil Pilous vlpilous@seznam.cz, Chech, has great source of some rare seeds."
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Daisy

  • Sr. Member
Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 07:47:34 AM »
Mike. Thank-you for such a full and complete reply.
I didn't realise there are so many to try!
I think that I had better start with the easiest ones.
The photos of the violas in Elizabeth MacGregor's nursery make me drool too!  ;D ;D ;D
Then the three violas in tufa rock in Vlastimil Pilious's garden look like gems in a setting.
I used tufa rock a lot in England. I wish I could get it here.
Daisy :)



Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola on Corfu
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2011, 07:23:54 PM »
Cali, I am  interested in your comment about wild violets amongst your palm stumps, here. Do you know the species and/or have a photo?
(thanks for PMs)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 01:06:56 PM by Alisdair »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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Cali

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Re: Viola on Corfu
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2011, 08:15:32 PM »
The wild violets in our area I have assumed are Viola alba. I went to take a photo today of the one growing between the leaf stumps of our palm and discovered to my huge surprise that it had several flowers. They usually bloom in February and March, needless to say. Here is the photo.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 01:07:23 PM by Alisdair »
Cali Doxiadis
Former MGS President
Gardens in Corfu, Greece.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola odorata on Corfu
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2011, 09:22:11 PM »
Thanks Cali.
It looks like V. odorata.
In the wild, Vv. alba and odorata both come in purple and white forms, both quite common. It just happened that the plants that Besser used in his diagnosis of V. alba were white, hence the name.
The species are certainly quite similar, but one key difference is that V. alba's flowers come from leaf axis on the runners, whereas V. odorata's flowers come from the leaf rosettes. You can see that helps the ident. using your photo.
Like many other plants, violets can flower out of season. Often, such flowers are somewhat deformed or small, but those in your photo look fine. Thank you for taking the photo to let me see it.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 01:08:01 PM by Alisdair »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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Cali

  • Jr. Member
Re: Viola odorata on Corfu
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2011, 10:03:26 PM »
Thank you Mike. I assumed they were alba not because they're white (there are plenty of purple ones around here, too) but because someone once said so. Now I've looked them up in Blamey/Grey-Wilson and seen that only odoratas have runners, so I should have known... mine run all over the place!
Anyway, the ones in the photo are quite small and unpreposessing compared to the spring ones.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 01:08:18 PM by Alisdair »
Cali Doxiadis
Former MGS President
Gardens in Corfu, Greece.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola odorata on Corfu
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2011, 09:42:11 AM »
Jolly good.
There are some close relatives of V. odorata that do not have runners, eg. V. hirta, but V. alba is not one of them; V. alba does have runners, whatever Marjorie and Kit say in that book.

Thomas Marcussen's 'Evolution, phylogeography, and taxonomy within the Viola alba complex (Violaceae)', 19mar2003 gives a good up-to-date reference on V. alba and its subspecies (and related species); preview here - http://www.springerlink.com/content/0qqnwfmp9f1xn9bl/
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 01:08:34 PM by Alisdair »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 12:25:52 AM »
Whilst in Catalonia we visited the garden of Anne Neuve-Egllise and apart from the very luxuriant garden full of roses we were invited into her home. There was a sheltered courtyard which was covered in plants growing in a very natural but lawn like fashion. I seem to remember that there were Primula vulgaris and a whole range of other plants including Viola hederacea which was very happy. Presumably this would be a species that would suit some other members gardens in a similar shaded spot. I suspect that like the Primula it would survive some summer stress to recover in the autumn.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.