Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ivy Leaved Violet, Australian Violet, Trailing Violet, Tasmanian Trailing Violet
Viola banksii

Family: Violaceae (vy-oh-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viola (vy-OH-la) (Info)
Species: banksii (BANKS-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Erpetion hederaceum
Synonym:Erpetion reniforme
Synonym:Viola hederacea
Synonym:Viola reniforme

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Viola banksii by Baa

By Baa
Thumbnail #2 of Viola banksii by Baa

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Viola banksii by kennedyh

By Baa
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There are a total of 21 photos.
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7 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral klriley On Nov 26, 2014, klriley from Lake Macquarie
Australia (Zone 10b) wrote:

Viola banksii and Viola hereracea are no longer synonyms, but different species. Both are worth growing, and as far as I know the flowers at least are edible. In a cooler climate, V. hederacea (paler flowers) is likely to perform better, as it grows in a temperate climate, V. banksii (darker flowers) more in a sub-tropical or at least warm temperate climate. The nursery trade, at least here in Australia, seems to be completely confused as to which is which.

Positive greenpumpkin On Apr 25, 2011, greenpumpkin from Livermore, CA wrote:

deekayn left a comment saying she used it in foods. I read another place that all parts of it are poisonous.

Positive kcarneal On Mar 2, 2010, kcarneal from Del Mar, CA wrote:

I replaced Baby Tears with Australian Violet in a shady area near our entry. The result is a lush 3-in.-tall sea of dark green foliage with the added interest of lovely blue-purple flowers. It spreads quickly but is a snap to pull up if it invades adjoining areas. Today I'm adding it to a couple more areas to create a theme in my small garden. The big bonus is that it's poisonous to snails.

Positive seedpicker_TX On Aug 2, 2007, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is a fantastic plant to cover the dirt in a large brugmansia pot, or other patio type tree. It looks especially nice when it begins to cascade over the edge of the pot.

Positive CastIronPlant22 On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Yes this plant can be very invasive, but at the same time, it always looks great. The flowers are nice, and the snails really don't touch it. I have found that if it's watered a lot, it seems to spread and get more bushy. With little water it seems to just not do anything. It has grown in between some of my plants, but it hasn't harmed them.

I have had this in the ground as a ground cover for 3 years. The cold winters here seem to hurt it a little, but it comes right back in spring. It's a good choice for a shade garden or path that needs that extra texture and color. If you water it everyday, it will cover an entire area really quickly, but I still love it.

Positive StarGazey26 On Jul 4, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this plant! I have had it for about three years, and it spreads really fast. I love it. It tends to like water, so I usually water it once a day. I think that's why it spreads sooo much. It is very pretty when in bloom. I never fertilize it, and yet it still does great. I really like it a lot, and I know it will spread over my whole garden soon!

Neutral vossner On Jul 4, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful plant and flower, but it is growing crazy on me! It really works itself in and out of other plants. I'm going to have to wait until winter when other plants die back so I can concentrate on doing a major pull up of this one. Mine grows in part shade near a water faucet, and I think that has a lot to do with its vigor.
Much better suited for container growing, IMO

edited to change rating to NEUTRAL. It is easy to remove and flowers are pretty.

Neutral pokerboy On Jul 9, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is great for dryish (not dry) to moist areas of the garden. It can become invasive but is easily removed. The flowers of this plant may have a slight fragrance. Good in a partly-shaded position. pokerboy.

Positive deekayn On Feb 14, 2004, deekayn from Tweed Coast
Australia wrote:

The sweet purple and white flowers make lovely little garnishes on salads, pastas, cheese boards and fruit salads etc. I have coated them with beaten egg whites and then dipped into fine sugar as a cake decoration that is edible.

Positive dogbane On Nov 10, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This violet has proven to be a good ground cover for a dryish, mostly shaded part of my garden. I often plant annuals like snapdragons toward the back of the mass to give some cool season color, but the violet seems to bloom almost constantly for me. The blooms are never a large mass, just subtle perks; the foliage is a nice evergreen touch.

Neutral Baa On Aug 30, 2001, Baa wrote:

Syn Erpetion hederaceum, E. reniforme, V. reniforme

Vigorous and rapid spreader (via stolons) from Australia and a great ground cover in warm climates. Dark green, 1 inch kidney or ovate shaped leaves which can be entire (smooth edged) to coarsely toothed, often has scalloped edges.

Bears 1 inch flattened flowers with a very short spur. Can be white, cream, pale to dark violet or white with royal purple blotches. Sometimes scented. Doesn't like winter wet and not fully hardy. Dig up a small portion of it to overwinter in a partially shaded alpine/green house. It grows so rapidly, you don't need too much of it at the start of the year, so give it space.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Scottsdale, Arizona
Little Rock, Arkansas
Del Mar, California
Livermore, California
Lompoc, California
Solvang, California
Stockton, California
Clearwater, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Naples, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Sun City Center, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Chicago, Illinois
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Gulfport, Mississippi
Raleigh, North Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Beaumont, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
New Braunfels, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Woodville, Texas

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