Saturday, April 18, 2009

Viola pedata 'Eco Artist Palette'....Wow

The cultivar section of Fern Valley has acquired some cool plants this year. This one isn't out yet, but it won't be long. This is a selection of Viola pedata, the Birds-foot Violet made by yet another Georgia super-horticulturist, Don Jacobs.

Viola pedata is a variable species; in the trade it is commonly seed grown so if you shop for it you certainly ought to see the plant in flower. Some are distinctly and brilliantly bi-colored, others, though still beautiful, are much less striking. This one (not seed grown) is over the top! Because it's asexually propagated, any plant named 'Eco Artist Palette' should look like this. I dont know this particular cultivar, but some somatic mutations are not completely stable and there can be variability in a group of plants that are "genetically identical." This looks like that type of variation, but again, I don't know this cultivar!

One of those plants that is particular about where it grows, the Bird's-foot Violet prefers to live in a well drained area in full sun. I remember being amazed years ago seeing them happily growing on the margins of a dry dirt road in West Virginia. They seem so delicate! Be careful about overindulging them. I have a clump in my front bed (pure sand and full sun) that I never water and it has been getting bigger and bigger for years.

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