Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Confederate Violet, Viola sororia

Confederate Violet
Viola sororia
This little beauty hails from North East America and here it flowers in late winter through to spring.
Taxonomists, those dedicated folk who classify plants and give them their proper names, seem to get their knickers in a twist about violets as they vary so much and don't stay true to type. This one can be either a violet blue colour or pale grey or even spotted and flecked as in the cultivar 'Freckles'. The common name is given because the pale grayish blue resembles the colour of Confederate uniforms during the Civil War. At the flowers heart are tiny whiskers and thin dark lines so as to trick any visiting bee that it has found a very accommodating mate while it performs its pollination duties . I have only grown this for a year or so but apparently it is a bit promiscuous in the seed spreading department and liable to become a bit weedy. In late winter it did something quite strange by disappearing for a while so I thought I had lost it. Then it came back to life when the weather warmed up, putting on fresh green leaves and sending up flowers. Not much Violet perfume from this one but the flowers are a real treat especially when viewed up close under a hand lens.

1 comment: