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Viola tricolor

Phonetic Spelling
vy-OH-la TRY-kull-lur
Description

Sometimes called the wild pansy this tiny herbaceous annual or short-lived perennial wildflower was introduced to North America.  It is found in lichen-dominated or meadow-like rocky outcrops, dry and sloping meadows, banks, fields, gardens, wastelands, sand fields, seaside beaches. It does not have a rosette form at the base, unlike some other violets, such as Viola hirta but has an alternate leave arrangement instead.  Its three-colored (hence the name) flowers can produce up to 50 seeds in each capsule making it spread easily though it is not particularly aggressive.  Water this plant regularly but do not overwater.

 

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom:  April-September

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#butterflies#showy flowers#pollinators#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#butterflies#showy flowers#pollinators#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viola
    Species:
    tricolor
    Family:
    Violaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Traditional medicines and dyes
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and Asia
    Distribution:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, long-tongued bees (Anthophora sp.), syrphid flies (Rhingia sp.), and butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 10 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    3-valved capsule which ejects seeds when dry.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are solitary in axils and lateral, hoisted on long peduncles. They appear on aerial stems with more or less long internodes. The 5 sepals are never larger than the corolla. The 5 petals are often three colors and have purple stripes on them the bottom petal has a nectar spur. The typical flower has violet or purple upper petals, white lateral petals, and a yellow lower petal, but other color variations are possible.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaf blades are glaborus ¾-1½" long (not including their petioles). Two stipules clasp the stem and are often quite developed on the upper leaves and difficult to distinguish from true leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stem is hairless, sometimes downy and is branched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Fairy Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees