Viola betonicifolia (VIOLACEAE) Arrow-leaved Violet

Plants to Plant

Tufted, herbaceous plant growing from 5-40 cm high depending on local conditions. Arrow-shaped leaves to 10 cm long from the base. In exposed situations, plants may die down to a perennial root-stock, particularly during a severe winter or drought. Plants are often found in damp, shaded forest habitats, but they may also occur in more open sclerophyll forest or on grassy hillsides. New plants can be grown easily from seed. Once a plant is established in the garden self-sown seedlings appear around the mother plant in a short time. Attractive to many butterflies as a host plant, including the rare Australian Fritillary Argyreus hyperbius.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers

Viola flowers to 20 mm in spring and summer. Flowers can be dark and light purple, mauve and pink. Also produces small, self-pollinating flowers that never open (cleistogamy).

Photo: John Abbott