Viola volcanica Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.
Viola exilis, Viola volcanica var. volcanica, Viola vulcanica
Viola volcanica is a small, stemless annual or short-lived perennial that forms stunning dome-shaped rosettes of beautifully textured leaves. The rosettes grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter. Leaves are semi-succulent with hairy and scalloped margins and in various shades of brown. Flowers are small, about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, and have five white petals with violet veins and a yellow throat. They appear in late spring and early summer.
The specific epithet "volcanica (vol-KAN-ee-kuh)" is a compound of two words, "volcano" and the feminine form of the Latin suffix "-icus," meaning "of or pertaining to" and refers to the volcanic soils where the species occurs.
How to Grow and Care for Viola volcanica
As one of the Rosulate Violas, V. volcanica has 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.
The main problem with Rosulate Violas 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 them more likely to grow satisfactorily in cultivation.
Soil: This plant grows in relatively bare loose soils, which are often volcanic in origin.
Hardiness: V. volcanica can withstand temperatures as low as 0 to 50 °F (-17.8 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 7a to 11b.
Propagation: V. volcanica is grown only from seed and with some patience.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rosulate Violas.
Toxicity of Viola volcanica
V. volcanica is nontoxic for humans and pets. Both the flowers and leaves are edible fresh, cooked, or dried.
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