Genus: Pansy

Viola

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Pansy (Viola)
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Synonyms:  Erpetion
Violaceae
Viola is a large genus of 500 or so species of annuals, biennials, perennials, and subshrubs from temperate areas worldwide. Violas are grown primarily for their 5-petaled flowers in every color of the rainbow. Flowers have a spurred lower petal, 2 upper petals, and 2 lateral petals. Most cultivars are classified as garden pansies, violas, or violettas, differing in habit, flower characteristics, and cultivation requirements. The  Viola genus is useful in containers, as bedding, in a rock garden, or in a border.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Profuse flowers over long periods.
Care:  Full sun to part shade. Grow in fertile, humusy, moist but well-drained soil. Rock garden plants can grow in poor soil but they need gritty, very well-drained soil. Deadhead regularly.
Propagation: 

Some species can be propagated by division. Take cuttings of perennial species in spring or late summer. Sow seed in a cold frame in spring or when ripe. For garden pansies, sow seed in late winter for early spring-summer flowering, or in summer for winter flowering. Many species are short-lived, so start new plants regularly.

Problems: 

Slugs, snails, aphids, and violet leaf midges commonly munch on plants. <em>Violas</em> are also prone to mosaic viruses, downy mildew, powdery mildew, crown and root rot, rust, Botrytis, spot anthracnose, and other fungal leaf spots.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Viola

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Heartsease
Viola tricolor
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Cool Wave Berries 'N Cream trailing pansy
Viola x wittrockiana Cool Wave® Berries 'N Cream trailing pansy
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Viola ‘Etain’