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Viola pachysoma


Scientific Name

Viola pachysoma Sheader & J.M. Watson

Scientific Classification

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


This species is endemic to the Patagonian Andes of Argentina.


Viola pachysoma is a perennial plant that spreads by rhizomes and forms rosettes of semi-succulent leaves that change the color to blend in with their backgrounds. The rosettes grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and up to 3.8 inches (9 cm) tall. Flowers are white with violet veins and appear in spring and early summer, standing in a ring around the rosette's outer edge.

The specific epithet "pachysoma" derives from the Latin "pachy," meaning "thick" and the Ancient Greek "sôma," meaning "body," and probably refers to the shape of the rosettes.

Viola pachysoma

Photo by Alpine Alex

How to Grow and Care for Viola pachysoma

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 pachysoma 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 pachysoma

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


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