Viola philippii Leybold
Viola microphylla, Viola philippii var. philippii
This species is native to Chile.
Viola philippii is a small perennial plant that forms rosettes of semi-succulent, beautifully textured leaves with reddish crenate margins. The rosettes grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall. Leaves are gray-green to purplish-brown with hairy edges. They change the color to blend in with their backgrounds. Flowers are white, tinged with pink, have five petals, and appear from spring to early summer.
The specific epithet "philippii" probably honors Federico Philippi (1838-1910), a zoologist and botanist active in Chile. He was the youngest son of the famed paleontologist and zoologist Rodolfo Amando Philippi.
How to Grow and Care for Viola philippii
Rosulate Violas have a reputation for being difficult to keep alive. Therefore, cold conditions, soil containing adequate nutrients, and as much light as possible are essential.
Soil: They grow in relatively bare loose soils, often volcanic in origin.
Hardiness: Viola philippii 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. However, 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 philippii
Violas are nontoxic for humans and pets. Both the flowers and leaves are edible fresh, cooked, or dried.
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