Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 1256 Viola walteri

Common Names: prostrate blue violet,Walter’s violet Family: Violaceae (violet Family)
Image Gallery

Prostrate blue violet flowers
Prostrate blue violet flowers
prostrate blue violet leaves
The prostrate blue violet has attractive leaves with silvery veins and purple undersides.

Description

Prostrate blue violet is a small plant even by violet standards. It gets no more than 3 in (8 cm) tall. At least it has trailing stems that can extend for several inches where they terminate in new plants. Leaves are roundish oval, 3-5 cm long, with a rounded tip. The top side of the leaves is a silvery mid-green marked with darker green veins. On the bottom, the leaves are an unexpected purple. Walter’s violet produces two different kinds of flowers. Cleistogamous flowers are flowers that never open and are self pollinated. They are borne in summer on peduncles around an inch (1-2) cm long that originate from upper leaf axils and look like tiny brownish gray footballs. The more typical chasmogamous flowers are produced in spring and are bilaterally symmetrical with 5 pale bluish purple petals, and are a little less than an inch (2 cm) across.

North Creek Nursery in Pennsylvania has introduced a selection they call ‘Silver Gem’ which may have more of a silvery cast on the upper surface of the leaves than the typical wild ones.

Location

Viola walteri is a relatively uncommon woodland flower that ranges sporadically throughout the southeastern US from eastern Texas to northern Florida, and northward to southern Ohio and West Virginia. Look for prostrate blue violets in rich, mesic, deciduous hardwood forests. Prostrate blue violet doesn’t occur in pine forests and is rarely found on soils that aren’t alkaline. This little violet often is found in association with spring ephemerals such as May apple (Podophyllum peltatum), various trilliums (for example, Trillium underwoodii.), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum), wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Dutchmen’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), hepatica (Anemone americana), and other species of violets (for example, Viola sororia.)

Culture

Light: This little woodland violet grows in shade to semi shade. Moisture: When prostrate blue violet finds itself on an ideal, calcareous and moist soil, it spreads and colonizes widely, albeit rather slowly. On drier sites it is more dispersed and the individual plants are further apart. Plant in an area with average to moist soil. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9 . Propagation: Viola walteri spreads by above ground runners and below ground rhizomes as well as seeds from both cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers. The plant is easy to propagate from the little plantlets that form on the ends of the runners.

Prostrate blue violet grows well in containers and terrariums.
Prostrate blue violet grows well in containers and terrariums
protrate blue violet
Outdoors, protrate blue violet makes a very handsome small-scale groundcover.

Usage

Prostrate blue violet is a fine ground cover for naturalizing in a moist, semi-shady woodland setting. Under good conditions it will expand by runners and form an attractive groundcover network of silvery-green foliage. Use it under oaks and among some of the spring ephemerals mentioned above. This little violet makes a great container plant, too. It quickly fills the container and the runners send new plants cascading over the sides.

I had some Prostrate blue violet in an outdoor container under a big magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) in my yard here in North Florida. It spilled out and has become established in the moderately dense shade under the mag, where few other plants are able to survive.

Features

There are more than 500 species of violets in the world. Most thrive in shade or partial shade and most are suitable for naturalizing in woodland or rock gardens. The common blue violet (Viola sororia) is (are you ready for this?) a common species in eastern North America, and often considered a weed in lawns. The garden pansy (Viola x Wittrockiana) is a complicated hybrid developed from several violet species.

Steve Christman 3/30/16



Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
palm
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
medicinal
for pots and containers
indoors
shade
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
flowers
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
evergreen
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages




Viola species profiled on Floridata:


Viola sororia

( violet, common blue violet, early blue violet, sand violet )

Viola walteri

( prostrate blue violet,Walter’s violet )

Viola x Wittrockiana

( pansy, ladies-delight )

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC