Viola montagnei Gay
Viola flos-mariae, Viola flos-mariae var. nivea, Viola flos-mariae var. virescens
Viola montagnei is an attractive stemless perennial plant that forms rosettes of green, semi-succulent leaves with reddish midrib, veins, and margins. It belongs to the group of Rosulate Violas. Leaves are covered with short soft hair and have margins fringed with long, white hairs. Flowers have five dark purple petals, 4 with white bases, and the lower one yellow. They appear from spring to early summer and stand in a ring around the outer edge of the rosette. They have five petals,
The specific epithet "montagnei" probably honors Jean Pierre François Camille Montagne (1784-1866), a French botanist, bryologist, and mycologist.
How to Grow and Care
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 montagnei can tolerate 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.
Toxicity: Violas are nontoxic for humans and pets. Both the flowers and leaves are edible fresh, cooked, or dried.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rosulate Violas.
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