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Viola dasyphylla


Scientific Name

Viola dasyphylla W.Becker

Scientific Classification

Family: Violaceae
Subfamily: Violoideae
Tribe: Violeae
Genus: Viola


This species is native to Argentina.


Viola dasyphylla is an attractive perennial plant with leaves that are spirally arranged in densely imbricate, somewhat columnar rosettes. It belongs to the group of Rosulate Violas. The leaves are semi-succulent, green with white cartilaginous margins. Flowers are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, usually white or sometimes creamy-yellow with violet lines, and appear in early summer.

This species is very similar to Viola cotyledon but has smaller, beardless flowers.

The specific epithet "dasyphylla" derives from the Greek words "dasy," meaning "shaggy or dense" and "phylla," meaning "leaves," and probably refers to the leaves arranged in a dense rosette.

Viola dasyphylla

Photo by Harry Jans

How to Grow and Care for Viola dasyphylla

Rosulate Violas have a reputation for being difficult to keep alive. Cold conditions, soil that contains adequate amounts of nutrients, and as much light as possible, are essential.

Soil: They grow in relatively bare loose soils, which are often volcanic in origin.

Hardiness: Viola dasyphylla can withstand temperatures as low as 0 to 50 °F (-17.8 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 7a to 11b.

Propagation: Rosulate Violas are grown only from seed and with some patience.

The main problem with these plants is etiolation, caused by a lack of light, which results in elongation of the compact rosettes. It is known that in any bunch of seedlings, some of them will quickly etiolate, while others may not. So there is some scope in selecting Rosulate Violas more likely to grow satisfactorily in cultivation.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rosulate Violas.

Toxicity of Viola dasyphylla

Violas are nontoxic for humans and pets. Both the flowers and leaves are edible fresh, cooked, or dried.


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