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Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Light Shade
Bloom Color: Violet/Lavender
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous Blue-Green Burgundy
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From herbaceous stem cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; sow indoors before last frost From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
On Jul 17, 2011, Kitte from San Francisco, CA wrote:
Wow they weren't kidding when they said invasive! Don't let the dainty & delicate appearance fool you.
I grew this in a pot so thought I was safe. It will slowly spread & hang over the sides a bit. Very pretty in white pots, especially when it has the tiny lavender flowers. (Mine seem to flower fairly frequently). But now I am seeing it pop up everywhere in my other containers! It is windy here & I suspect that had something to do w/ it.
It seems to grow just about everywhere- sun, shade, light dry soils, heavy wet soils. Still like it tho, for tough little areas where I can't get anything else to grow. Anyway, the seedlings are easy to pull out.
Am keeping this as far as possible from my V. odoratas. Just in case they cross & affect the odorata fragrance.
On Jun 23, 2011, magnetFL from Lake Worth, FL wrote:
Plants labeled Viola labradorica in cultivation, including all of those with leaves variably suffused with purple, burgundy, or maroon, are actually Viola riviniana, a species native to Europe, western Russia, and northern Africa. The true Viola labradorica, which is native to Greenland, Canada, and the United States, does not appear to be in cultivation. All of the images of Viola labradorica on Dave's Garden are actually of purple-leaved forms of Viola riviniana and most (or perhaps all) of the comments regarding Viola labradorica actually refer to Viola riviniana.
Just moved to Savannah Ga From Wahiawa HI, and was itching to garden. Sitting in my dinning room I could see these purple flowers from my window outside my gate. Did a little research and wow, I love them. Transplanted them into a flowerbed in my front yard garden as a ground cover and they do great. I love them
On Apr 7, 2010, vasue from Charlottesville, VA wrote:
A dainty charmer! Began with one plant from a local nursery that bloomed sparsely but seeded well. In fertile amended soil mulched lightly with chopped leaves, 10 years later there are hundreds gracing the garden. Shallow-rooted & easily transplanted, they are happiest in groups & bloom here through to frost if kept watered. A weed-seed-suppressing living mulch beneath azaleas, roses, hedges, trees, perennials of many kinds in sun & shade. They compliment without crowding out & do well even on 45 degree slopes. A favorite!
On Apr 29, 2009, MorganMghee from Port Orchard, WA wrote:
I purchased this plant at a nursery for a Pacific NW garden, underneath tall maple trees where the spring sun shines, but becomes full shade in the summer months after the trees leaf out. Due to the damp weather and shady conditions, there are considerable slugs but these little flowers aren't affected at all. I am shooting for a low maintenance garden, so along with not wanting to battle slugs, I don't want to fertilize, and still this flower is not affected. The leaf coverage in summer is so complete that the garden gets very dry even during rain, but the plant merely droops until it rains very hard or I sprinkle. The year after planting, I too experienced a season or two of nothing but seed pods, as someone mentioned above, and was considering fertilizing this year especially after an unusual and prolonged heavy snow. But before it was time to do that, I noticed a hint of color in the leaves and on closer inspection found that not only had the snow not affected them, they appeared stronger than ever and were covered in flowers. (as seems to be the case for everything that has emerged so far this year) They do self sow, but so far after 3 years they haven't migrated out of the garden area. The only concern on that matter is that several of the seedlings have reverted (or converted) to a lighter green, less severely round leaf with a more violet than blue flower. A nice plant, but not as interesting as the original, so I will remove them and any more that I find.
On Aug 5, 2007, entwive from Barrington, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I love this little violet. It makes sheets of purple in Spring & then throws up a solitary bloom here & there all Summer & into Fall here in Northern IL. A great shade groundcover that is not too agressive & plays well with others. Particularly nice with dark foliaged bugbanes (Actaea/Cimicifuga).
On Aug 5, 2007, perfectpots from Victoria, BC Canada wrote:
I'm sure everyone else has beautiful flowers, but mine is a mutant. It makes (I believe to be) indistinguishable flowers. I am constantly removing seed pods, but still have not seen a flower.
I planted it this past June. It did have a late start. Currently it is forming this small dainty flower buds. Not one has produce a flower they just go straight to a maturing seed pod. I have opened a couple of the flower buds, but see no petals or forming petals. If I brake open the Ovary I can see what I believe to be unpollinated seeds in the Embryo Sac.
Where are my flowers?
One thought I have is that maybe next year I will get fully developed flowers (doubtful.) Another thought I have is maybe one of the seeds will grow a true to form specimen. Either way I think I am going to dig it up. I do not want it seeding everywhere, no matter how beautiful the foliage. I prefer to have ground covers that spread by runners, easier to control with some hidden barriers.
Anyone come across this before?
On May 12, 2007, PhilsFlowers from Ocean Park, Surrey, BC (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have grown this plant for almost five years. As a friend had this plant long before I did, I learned from her experience and placed it so that it could not escape confinement. A few did manage to grow in other nearby areas but were easily removed. My Lab. violets here in Surrey, B.C. began blooming about the second to third week in April and are still blooming their heads off although they are tapering off, fewer flowers. They do get some direct sun just before noon, the rest of the time they are in light shade and they seem to love it. Remember we are in Canada, I wouldn't try that in California or anyplace else that is similar. If I had not confined this plant my complaint would be that it spread too readily. If you plan to grow it use some means to confine it. I used scalloped pink edgers in a fan shape, filling the fan about half full so that when the plants seeded it would be extremely difficult for them to get out. Because they are shallow rooters and their roots were above the bottom of the fan, they could not spread by doing this either. I think the only way some seeds managed to escape was during windy periods when seeds were lifted and deposited in other areas of this garden bed.
Blooms April-May in my garden. This is very happy for me in a well mulched area in full sun. My information says it is hardy in zones 3-9, and I believe other names for it may be Viola labradorica var. purpurea and Alpine Violet. Stratification and darkness aid germination of seed.
On Sep 5, 2005, markatmystery from Nellysford, VA wrote:
In Central Virginia, eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mtn.s. Spreads slowly but persistently, holding its own against waves of Galium odoratum (with a wee bit of weeding help from Yours Truly), in average soil, woodland shade. My only complaint is bloom time is too short--but that applies to a lot of early-blooming perennials!
On Sep 4, 2005, jills from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I found a volunteer that has been growing in a part of my garden that gets VERY little water and is in deep shade. It hasn't flowered, but I give it bonus points for just surviving under those conditions -- and the leaves are a pretty shape and color.
On Dec 31, 2003, Flit from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I love this little violet. It's quite dainty and the purple-tinged leaves are an interesting color. It flowers with small dark purple violets.
It needs a bit of encouragement to spread, creating small patches four to eight inches across. It's growing in shade under a birch tree on fairly bad soil. It wants regular water, but seems hardier than violas.
Syn Viola adunca var. minor
Often confused with Viola riviniana var. purpurea.
Native to Canada, North USA and Greenland. Small spreading (indefinite spread) Violet with heart/kidney shaped (¾ inch), toothed leaves which can be flushed a bronze-purple colour when young. Bears solitary pale purple flowers (½ inch across) with short purple spurs.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Alameda, California Castro Valley, California Half Moon Bay, California Menlo Park, California Merced, California Miranda, California Pinole, California San Francisco, California Santa Cruz, California Thornton, Colorado Central Manchester, Connecticut Vernonburg, Georgia Barrington, Illinois Washington, Illinois Cedar Falls, Iowa Wichita, Kansas Bridgewater, Massachusetts Holland, Massachusetts North Billerica, Massachusetts Taunton, Massachusetts Ann Arbor, Michigan Dearborn Heights, Michigan East Freehold, New Jersey Buffalo, New York Penfield, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Cincinnati, Ohio Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon Allentown, Pennsylvania Friedensburg, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Alice, Texas Austin, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Haltom City, Texas Hereford, Texas Mesquite, Texas Princeton, Texas Sunset Valley, Texas Charlottesville, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Nellysford, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Kalama, Washington Port Orchard, Washington