This beloved short-lived perennial has been heavily hybridized and is a favorite cool season bedding plant. In its natural form, the horned violet is an evergreen, alpine perennial that originates from the Pyrenees Mountains in France and Spain and regions in Switzerland. It has escaped and become naturalized in other parts of Europe, particularly Scotland where commonly grows in grassy, upland meadows.
The small plant forms neat, tufted clumps of foliage that rise from small, slender rhizomes with fibrous roots. Its small, spring green leaves are oval or heart-shaped and have scalloped edges. Its delicate, five-petaled, violet-like flowers come in shades of violet-blue, lavender, purple or white. Each flower is subtly fragrant and has a small awl-shaped spur, or nectary, at its base. These are sometimes likened to a horn, which explains the common name, horned violet. The flowers are bee pollinated but may attract butterflies too. Seed-filled capsule fruits follow that split open into three parts when mature. These readily germinate if allowed to.
The horned violet blooms continuously from late spring to late summer in regions where the growing season is generally cool but will refrain from blooming as the weather heats up. Cultivated forms can be forced to bloom at other times of the year and are a favorite winter annual in the south.
Full sun and sharply drained, moderately fertile soil with a neutral pH is preferred. The horned violet is short-lived so it’s seedlings are often welcome and may even naturalize if allowed to. This ornamental is best planted in cool seasons or where summers never get too hot. It is ideal for container plantings, alpine or rock gardens, or along the edge of mixed borders. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Viola
Species - Cornuta
Common name - Winter Pansy
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 8
Height - 6"-8" (15-20cm)
Spread - 8"-16" (20-40cm)
Plant type - Perennial flower
Vegetation type - Decidouos
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Neutral
Soil type - Loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Care level - Easy
Landscape uses - Alpine, Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Germination rate - 96%
Bloom season - Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White, Lavender, Violet, Blue Violet, yellow, dark red
|Violas do better with stratification, a process of subjecting seeds to moist/cold treatment to break the seeds dormancy. Indoors, sow seeds into moistened soil or vermiculite and place in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5 days. After that:
1. Fill plastic germination cell pots with moist germination soil mix.
2. Make a small hole with the pencil and put one little tiny seed into each.
3. Cover them lightly with the soil that got pushed away by making the hole. (seeds will germinate with no light)
4. Mist them with a spray bottle and cover the tray with clear plastic.
5. Place in a sunny window in a room that never goes below 64 or 65F (~16C) at night and stays about 70 or 75F (~22C) degrees during the day.
7. When they start to germinate remove the cover to allow or air circulation.