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Viola volcanica (Volcanic Violet)


Scientific Name

Viola volcanica Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.


Viola exilis, Viola volcanica var. volcanica, Viola vulcanica

Common Names

Volcanic Violet

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to Argentina and Chile.


Viola volcanica is a small, stemless, annual or short-lived perennial that forms stunning dome-shaped rosettes of beautifully textured leaves. The rosettes are up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter. Leaves are semi-succulent, in shades of brown, with hairy and scalloped margins. Flowers are small, about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, with five petals, white with violet veins, and a yellow throat. They appear in late spring and early summer.

The specific epithet "volcanica" derives from the Latin "volcanus or vulcanus," meaning "vulcan fire or god of fire" and refers to the volcanic soils where the species occurs.

Viola volcanica (Volcanic Violet)

Photo by Asphodelo72

How to Grow and Care for Viola volcanica

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 volcanica 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 volcanica

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


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