Viola cornuta Alba Group

Plant of the month: July

Viola cornuta Alba Group

Also known as: Viola

Native to: Spain (Pyrenees)

Blooms: June, July and August

Habitat: Best grown in partial shade, in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil

Where is it found at BBG&G: Bottom of the Grass Garden/Story of Horticulture garden

 

This Viola is wonderful little plant, originating from the Pyrenees, and is a superb garden plant. It produces pure white flowers, prolifically from the end of the May and sometimes until the end of August. It is happier in partial shade, which helps it stay moist, keeping this plant at its best. The added bonus is that white shows up beautifully in shady spots and can instantly breathe light into dull corners of any garden. The flowers themselves are around 3cm wide and have slender spurs but, to keep new buds forming, give them a trim back once they have past their best. Viola cornuta Alba Group is an evergreen spreading perennial that has the ability to provide fantastic ground cover if it is happy.

 

This plant is a must for anybody that likes violas or pansies but, this species is far more elegant than some of the large hybrids that are used in winter and spring bedding. The Viola that everyone grows is Viola x wittrockiana (The garden pansy), commonly seen in sold in Garden Centers nationwide. A number of different Viola species were crossed to breed the garden pansy, and Viola cornuta is one of those species. Other species that were used were Viola altaica, V.lutea and V.tricolor.