Monday, March 17, 2008

Violets

These particular little violets (Viola papilionacea) really cannot be counted as "spring" blooms because this plant is growing in its own little micro-climate and has been blooming off and on for a couple of months.

The plant resides in a crack in a large rock, a rock about the size of a small house. The crack is in a little bit of a recess in the side of the rock which faces southwest. During the winter when the leaves are off the trees, the rock face catches every available bit of sunlight, and because of its mass, retains the heat. During the heat of the summer, the rock is shaded by the surrounding tree.

Violets of this species are very variable. Leaves can be a variety of shapes and sizes and the blooms can vary from deep purple to white and can even be variegated. Additionally, several species of violets can easily hybridize in the wild. Purple is by far the dominant color around our place, though we have found some specimens that were a molted mixture of purple and white. They are a native perennial and spread via rhizomes and seeds.

This second violet is a recent spring wildflower. It was growing in a more conventional manner -- in the ground -- nearby.
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6 comments:

Small City Scenes said...

I love native wildflowers and that purple beauty is quite a specimen.
Some plants will thrive anywhere the sun shines on them. When the tulips are blooming I will post some picts. They should be cracking now. MB

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your violets are gorgeous Marvin and to think they have been blooming so long. That is one reason why I love violets. They look so delicate yet they are tough as nails. I painted some for a project and they are posted on my other blog if you would like to look at it. Not as pretty as the ones you have posted though.

Lana Gramlich said...

They're so lovely. Purple flowers rock. :)

smilnsigh said...

-sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh- You are teasing me with violets and all. -sigh- Me, still with snow on the ground. -sigh- *Look ashamed.* >,-)

mon@rch said...

The violets are great and about a month away from visiting my woods! I can't wait for their arrival!

Old Wom Tigley said...

This is very interesting.. in some of the quarries and on the limestone rock of nearby Derbyshire all kinds of plants have found that such cracks are perfect for gaining a stronghold. Some grow nowhere else but these cracks.