The Viola odorata flower
The Viola flower, originating from South America, Africa and Australia, is produced from one of the most widespread herbaceous plants in our country. The Viola, which is part of the botanical family of the Violaceae, has bright green, oval or heart-shaped leaves arranged in a rosette. The flowers, composed of five petals, are dark violet in color and give off a pleasant fragrance. The plant grows wild in mountainous and wooded areas. The genus Viola includes about 400 species of which the most known is the Viola odorata, also called Viola viola, much appreciated for its beauty by florists, perfumers for its sweet essence, by herbalists for its therapeutic virtues and by pastry chefs who they make candied fruit. In Italy there are about 50 species of Viola, some of which are cultivated in gardens.
Other species of violets
Another well-known species is the Pansy (scientific name: Viola tricolor), which is one of those cultivated all year round in its own garden. The small plant, which reaches a height of no more than 10 cm, is not affected by low temperatures and its flowers acquire the typical purple base color in spring. The plant is the result of crossings of European violets whose colors are variable. The Viola dei Nebrodi is particularly cultivated in the Sicily region, in the Madonie mountains. It has dark purple flowers and very small corolla, of only 2.5 mm. Violets grow in cool and shady places, on moist soil. The flowering of each species takes place in the spring season and ends with the arrival of summer, with the stimulation of seed production for the reproduction of the following season.
Viola odorata cultivation
For a good flowering in the winter season it will be necessary to place the Viola plants in a sunny place. If, on the other hand, you want a flowering in summer, you need to plant Viola in spring in a slightly shady spot. However it is necessary to avoid placing the plants in total shade because it hinders their development. The Viola flower needs abundant water, especially in very hot periods. The soil must remain moist, avoiding water stagnation. When preparing the soil, it is good to fertilize the plant with dry manure (manure) or use a specific fertilizer for flowering plants. The pruning of the Viola odorata will be limited to the simple removal of the damaged parts, of the dried leaves and of the withered flowers. The plant can be affected by different types of fungal diseases, including rust, which must be prevented by avoiding water stagnation.
Purple flower: Cultivation Pansies
Pansy, not having large roots, is suitable to be cultivated also in pots, as well as in the open ground. They should be planted at the end of summer, for a winter bloom, or at the end of winter, in a sunny place. The shady areas will give a luxuriant growth of leaves but few flowers. The soil must be a mixture of earth, a lot of peat and sand or even specific soil. The cultivation in pots foresees to change the substrate every year adding slow release fertilizer or fertilizer for flowers together with water. Pansy usually does not need to be watered very often, particularly in winter. It will be necessary to water only in dry weather, when the soil has been dry for a few days. In pot cultivation, however, it will be advisable to water a little more frequently.