Viola, a genus of the Violet family, contains around 600 annual and perennial plants, as well as few small shrubs. They are widely growing over both the Southern and Nothern temperature zone. Some species can be found even in the Andes, Sandwich Island and over Eastern Europe.
Viola- Beauty Comes In All Shapes and Sizes
Viola is also well known for its free hybridization. This makes identifying some species pretty difficult. There are many varieties of leaf shapes and flowers. The flower can be in many colors (except red), and it usually grows on a stalk. It has 5 petals, with 4 arranged in unlike pairs and fifth with a spur. The leaves of Viola can grow on the same stalk as the flower (stemmed violets) or separate stalks ( stemless violets). Best known Violas usually have heart-shaped leaves. However, some other species can have different leaf shapes.
Violas wildly grow in meadows and damp woods. Wild species will bloom in early spring, while some cultivated ones can bloom later in a year. An interesting fact about Viola is that it has two different types of flowers. The ones are showy and colorful. These ones appear in the spring but often don’t produce seeds. Other type are fertile ones. They appear in early summer, not that representable, completely closed and self-fertilizing. These flowers bring seeds for propagation.
Rosulate Viola- Gift From The Mountain Highs
Now you know a little more about this amazing genus, let us introduce Rosulate Viola. This is a name for the high Andean species of perennial Viola. Leaves of these succulents form a tight rosette (like Sempervivum or Saxifrages), with flowers blooming at the leaf level in rings around the outside of the rosette.
Rosulate Viola is native to Chile and Argentina. It grows in relatively bare loose soil, often volcanically originated. Like many other plants in a similar habitat, they have a long, tap root to ensure access to water.
Viola genus has a wide range of habitat requirements, from cool temperature woodland, all the way to hot, dry and stony slopes of tropical mountains. Small and hardy species grow well on rocks, while others need moisture-retentive rooting medium rich with hummus or extensive drainage. Some of the species especcially need strong protection from cold and freezing in the winter. Ultimately, well-draining soil with ordinary moist and partial shade will work fine with most of the species.
Grow and Care Tips
Rosulate Violas are known to be hard to grow in cultivation. However, skilled growers can maintain some species to flowering. Beautiful plants of Viola dasyphylla can be seen regularly in gardening shows.
A main problem with growing a healthy Rosulate Viola is the elongation of the normally compact rosette due to poor light conditions in the lowland northern temperature zone. The key to the successful growth of this succulent is cool temperature, adequate nutritions and as much light as possible. In terms of seedling, some species will etiolate quickly, while others will not. In that manner, there is some scope in selecting plants more likely to grow successfully in cultivation.
When it comes to propagation, Rosulate Violas are grown only from the seeds. That means youll need seeds from a perfectly healthy mother plant and a lot of patience. However, the beauty and a fact they are extremely rare in cultivation may motivate you to taste your luck with this amazing succulent.