Viola volcanica Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.
Viola volcanica var. volcanica, Viola vulcanica (misspelled), Viola exilis
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.
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 Violas. They 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.
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