Plants usually have to earn my love. But every once in a great while a very special plant comes along....
|Viola walteri 'Silver Gem'|
... and it's love at first sight.
When I saw Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’ at a local nursery, I fell in love. I had no idea where I was going to put it (in fact it sat on my patio for a couple months before I found it a spot) but this is one native beauty I couldn't pass up.
Viola walteri is a spreading ground cover, only 2"-5" tall, with darling little bluish-purple flowers. It is a native wildflower of the Southeast, and it's nicknames include Walter's violet, prostrate blue violet, and Appalachian blue violet. 'Silver Gem' is a natural variant that was found growing in Alabama in 2003 and introduced to the markets by Mt. Cuba Center a couple years ago.
According to Mt. Cuba Center, this violet grows best in filtered to partial shade, like it's woodland origins, and in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. After it is established, however, it is supposed to be pretty drought tolerant. This deer-resistant wildflower blooms from spring through fall. It wasn't the dainty blooms that made me fall in love, though...
my pictures don't do justice to the absolutely gorgeous, silvery, veined foliage.
The best spot I could find for my new little treasures is tucked away next to a stump, sheltered and shaded by it and by some taller plants. It's a spot where one has to look to find them; but then again, the Viola walteri 'Silver Gem' is a plant that is better appreciated up close...
...as most loves are.
Celebrating a beautiful Wildflower Wednesday today with Clay and Limestone.