Native Plant of the Month : Viola Hederacea

The Viola Hederacea also commonly known as Native Violet.

A dense groundcover

Viola hederacea is a herbaceous, and evergreen groundcover, which grows to 10 cm tall, but may spread to form a colony several meters wide, underground runners. It does an excellent job of forming a continuous dense groundcover that can out compete weeds and cover a lot of bare ground. It is very attractive when it flowers heavily. If desired, it will also spill over from garden beds and invade cracks in pathways and paved areas.

It is very useful as a ground cover or a non-traffic lawn substitute in shady, moist areas and it flowers for most of the year in favorable conditions.

In the wild
This native violet is typically found in more sheltered and moist bushland including wet and dry sclerophyll woodland and forest, rainforest margins and shrub lands, on a range of soils including sandy, loam and volcanic. It is not considered to be at risk of being threatened.
Viola Hederacea in a hanging basket
Planting conditions

Viola hederacea grows in a wide range of soils if moisture is present. Preferring a protected position in semi-shade to full sun. It will grow well in wet conditions but will start to die back once hot and dry summer conditions ensue. A bit of rain will resurrect the colony again. During really hot and dry times some supplementary watering maybe needed. 

The native violet is frost tolerant and drought tolerant in a favorable growing environment, however, it is very sensitive to salinity. Propagation is simple, dig up a section of plant with roots attached and replant where you want them.

Main pollinator

The main pollinators of these pretty flowered plants are the female bees belonging to the genus Anthrenoides (Andrenidae), which search mainly for pollen. These bees seem to be oligolectic (collecting pollen from a narrow range of sources) and obtain large amounts of pollen from Viola by vibrating the flowers or by moving the hook repeatedly back and forth.

Landcare nursery

The nursery has a wide supply native plants available. Learn more about the nursery at www.landcareportmac.com.au

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