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

Category:

Perennials

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:

Smooth-Textured

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

Regional

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
4
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.