100% Pure Seed. No Fillers. Non GMO.
How to Plant Wildflowers
Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds.
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more.
Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come.
Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more.
Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers.
Wildflower seeds native to your region. Support local wildlife with native wildflowers.
100% Pure Seed
Free shipping on all packets: No Minimum!
Why buy seed packets for your promotion or event
Pre-Order: Save 35% On All Perennials
Perennial Planting Guide
Step by step instructions on how to plant your bare root or potted perennials when they arrive.
Pre-Order: Save 35% On Spring-Planted Bulbs
Spring Flower Bulb Planting Guides
Step by step instructions on how to plant your spring-planted flower bulbs when they arrive.
Let's Do Lawns Differently
Less water, less mowing, and no pesticides
How to plant a cover crop
Learn about varieties which help to replenish nutrients to your soil.
Thrives in areas with cold freezing winters and hot summers.
Thrives in areas with hot temperatures.
Looking for gardening ideas, information and inspiration?
Enter Our Photo Contest
It's time to show off your garden filled with American Meadows products!
Viola is a member of the largest genus of the Violet (Violaceae) family, which includes between 550- 600 species. While the term “pansy” often covers the entire violet family, the Viola, also known as “heartsease or commonly as Johnny-jump-up, is considered the smallest member of this large species, that blooms in a diverse range of colors and sizes.
It is a familiar sight in spring gardens all over the world, yet mostly in the northern hemisphere, where the diminutive, heart-shaped flowers, are grown as a biennial or annual, yet sometimes perennials coming back each year.
Viola is typically among the first flowers to bloom in spring, from seed that was sown in the fall or early spring. Plants thrive in full sun, or part shade, and will bloom over a long period of time if plants are kept dead-headed. All violas are herbaceous, dying back to the ground once they have bloomed and done for the season, perhaps to resurface again the following year, or to grow from self-sown seed left behind to germinate naturally.
Viola blossoms are prized for their delicate, lightly aromatic blossoms, and have long been associated with romance, yet the term “shrinking violet”, was coined to describe the look of the blossom; head bowed, growing in a shady corner while the showier flowers in the summer garden dominate. The pattern of the blossoms, five rounded petals, can resemble a small face, thought to look like someone whose furrowed brow resembled a saddened face, therefor, made into herbal tinctures that can be used as a antidote to cure heartbreak – thus the name “hearts ease.”
Originating in Europe, Asia and North Africa, Viola go back many centuries to when Arabic writers wrote extensively about violets, attributing them to cures involving the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. The aromatic qualities, especially of the V. Odorata variety, were once the key ingredient to perfume, yet strength varies between species. Viola blossoms are also prized as an edible flower for healthful salads or garnish, along with the leaves, which are slightly mucilaginous and considered high in Vitamins C. The roots are a strong purgative and should be avoided.
Viola tricolor, the most common annual with purple and yellow petals contains flavonoids, extremely high levels of rutin and salicylates that are anti-inflammatory, when made into a poultice can be used to heal bruising or reduce swelling. Tinctures, made by immersing the flowers and the leaves in an alcohol base, known as a tincture, are used for strengthening and calming the nervous system.
The word “Pansy” Is derived from the French word “pensee” which means “thought” giving this diminutive flower a powerful personality. Found throughout the works of William Shakespeare, in Hamlet associated with Ophelia, as well as Mid Summers Night Dream, when Oberon sends Puck to gather a flower, that maidens call “love in idleness” when transformed into a tonic “will make man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature it sees,” which it does, indeed!
Violet Etain has lovely violet flowers with pale lemon yellow petals, edged in purple. Beautiful summer color. (Viola cornuta)...
Violet Columbine is a spectacular hybrid with columbine colors--rich blue with white. A heavy bloomer. (Viola cornuta)...
Clump forming Violet Rebecca ushers in a spectacular bi-colored look, this low growing perennial spreads to form an attractive ground cover. Violets are great for spring color. (Viol...
Halo Violet is a compact sweet smelling ground cover. At 8-10” tall it produces larger dark purple flowers than most violets. A heat tolerant Violet and deer resistant. Plant in...
Violas are often spring blooming, and after flowering, seed capsules are formed that easily split open into three valves, capable of ejecting seeds a long distance away. Flowers color varies between varieties, ranging from violet, through shades of blue, yellow, white and cream.
Many are bicolored, with markings that can resemble a small face, while others are single colored with a dark center.
While the difference between a pansy and a viola is mostly due to size, violas often produce more flowers per plant and are more heat tolerant. Plant in beds, or pots, and dig in plenty of compost to keep soil fertile and moist. Seeds can be sown in plug trays, or sprinkled directly on the prepared ground, rake into the soil, yet allow the seeds to be exposed to light in order to germinate, which should be 7- 10 days. Some gardeners prefer to sow seeds in late summer or fall, for the following years growth, to allow the young plants plenty of time to begin flowering.
For continuous long-lasting bloom, and to encourage bushier growth, pinch off the flower heads or remove the flower stem at the base. Like most annuals, once seeds are formed, the flowers will slow down and eventually stop producing. At the end of the growing season, pull plants to make room for summer and fall plantings, or allow plants to die back with roots intact.
Popular varieties include Viola tricolor, a classic Johnny-jump-up with purple petals, painted with black and yellow markings; Viola sororia, a small plant with delicate white petals and purple splotches; Viola odorata or sweet violet considered the most fragrant; and Viola biflora, the yellow wood violet found along woodland paths.
Viola are at their best when grouped together with spring bulbs, such as snowdrop bulbs , species tulips, and bloom simultaneously along with aquilegia and bleeding heart in the spring. They are equally successful as a ground hugging plant in the garden as in a decorative container. Height ranges from 3 to 15 inches high, depending on the species.
About the Author: Ellen Ecker Ogden is the author of six books, including The Complete Kitchen Garden, featuring theme gardens and recipes for cooks who love to garden. She writes and lectures on kitchen garden design. www.ellenogden.com
Back to article.
To learn more about the plants we sell and how to grow them in your garden beds and patio containers, sign up for our inspiring emails.
Learn How to Grow Violas