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Viola volcanica


Scientific Name

Viola volcanica Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.


Viola volcanica var. volcanica, Viola vulcanica (misspelled), Viola exilis

Scientific Classification

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


Viola volcanica is a small, stemless, annual or short-lived perennial, remarkable for its neat, dome-shaped rosettes. The beautifully textured leaves are semi-succulent, with scalloped, hairy margins, sand to ocher in color and often with violet tones. The flowers, barely emerging from the rosettes, are small, up to 7 inches (1.8 cm) in diameter and white with violet veins.

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USDA hardiness zones 7a to 11b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Many of the high Andean species are known as Rosulate ViolasThey are a group of perennial Violas in which the leaves form a tight rosette, rather like Sempervivum or some of the Saxifrages. However, the flowers appear at leaf level in rings around the outside of the rosette.

Rosulate Violas have a reputation for intractability in cultivation, but it is now known that at least some species can be grown to flowering size by skilled growers.

A main problem is etiolation, elongation of the normally compact rosettes, in the poor light values of the lowland northern temperate zone. Cool conditions, a sparse but adequate diet and as much light as possible are essential. It is known that in any batch of seedlings some individuals will quickly etiolate, others may not. So there is some scope in selecting plants more likely to grow satisfactorily in cultivation.

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


Viola volcanica is endemic to Chile and Argentina.


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