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Viola tectiflora


Scientific Name

Viola tectiflora W.Becker

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to Argentina and Chile.


Viola tectiflora is a small, stemless annual or short-lived perennial that belongs to the group of Rosulate Violas. It forms rosettes, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, of semi-succulent, usually purplish-brown leaves with hairy scalloped edges. The leaves change color to blend in with their backgrounds. Flowers are white tinged with pink and appear from spring to early summer.

The specific epithet "tectiflora" derives from the Latin words "tecti," meaning "cover" and "flora," meaning "flowers," and refers to the flowers covered by overlapping leaves.

Viola tectiflora

Photo by Alpine Alex

How to Grow and Care for Viola tectiflora

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 tectiflora 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 tectiflora

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


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