Saturday, April 10, 2010
Can you believe that some people consider these to be lawn weeds? I often hear callers on a local home and garden radio program ask how to kill them because they are taking over their lawns. I shake my head and wonder what harm a few little violets could do in a yard. (Apparently a lot in the right conditions.)
I’ve purposely bought violets before, like this Viola labradorica growing in the miniature garden.
I also once bought seeds for Viola mandshurica 'Fuji Dawn' because it has variegated leaves. For a few years, I did have violets with variegated leaves, but over time they died out and what is left in that location is this little violet.
Elsewhere in the garden, there are a few places where I let violets just grow. These are what I would refer to as common woodland violets. I won’t even speculate on the species, as there are many species out there in the wild.
Of course, one can not fall of into the abyss of violets and the plant family Violaceae without mentioning pansies and violas, the first bedding plants to buy in the spring.
One can also not read about the Violaceae family without coming across the term “cleistogamous”. In addition to the showy blooms we see in the spring, many violets also produce small petal-less flowers near the base of the plant in summer and early fall. These flowers never open, self-pollinate and produce lots of seeds. The larger blooms, which are chasmogamous, may also produce seeds.
Remind me this summer that I should look for the cleistogamous flowers of some of the violets around here and take a picture of them for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.
In the meantime, I’m going to go out now and look at the violets blooming in my garden and scope out other blooms for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - it falls on the 15th this month, just like it does every month!