HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
ON FLAT DRY AREAS OR SLOPES FACING NORTH ON THE FULLY EXPOSED SUN, is where this species GROW, often among IN VOLCANIC ASH WITH LOOSE PUMICE STONES and also in SAND OR SILTY SOILS of steppe or steppe edge habitats. 3-5 MONTHS ARE THE EXPECTED TIME IN THESE AREAS TO GET DROUGHT and the precipitations (400-800 mm per annum) are CONCENTRATED IN WINTER. It CAN BE COVERED BY SNOW FOR MONTHS (1-8 months). Together with some of its close relatives, this species is well adapted to blended in with the sand and stony volcanic ground where it grows. The color of the sand and the leaves of this particular species are VERY SIMILAR, and it seems that this could be an ADAPTION TO HERBIVORES.
USUALLY VIOLA VOLCANICA is misspelled as “VULCANICA”, EXCEPTIONAL for its well ordered, dome shaped rosettes. Also, it is a little stemless annual or short lived perennial herb. It has color of a sand with scalloped hairy margins, and have an amazingly texture of leaves. The flowers are rather small white with violet veins, and are barely emerging from the rosettes. So this really is primarily a foliage plant as far as a gardener’s eye is concerned. Its ROSETTES are compacted or compressed with a dome shaped like, that grows up to 5cm. While its ROOTS are fusiform divided above. It has a FINELY TEXTURED LEAVES, that are often ochre-colored with violet tones. BELOW RED GLANDULAR, above somewhat reticulate and wrinkled. Transpiration can be reduced by the help of the thin hairs around the margins, also it slows down the movement of air around the plant, a very essential adaptation to its windy environment. It has 3 stipules with dark, linear, and intermediate ones bifid. It’s FLOWERS have 5 petals, color of white and less than 18mm in diameter, with violet veins toward the center and a yellow throat leading from the petal, spur to 2 mm long. This kind of species is cosely related or familiar to VIOLA CONGESTA but it has more pointed leaves than VIOLA VOLCANICA.
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR VIOLA VOLCANICA
SOIL THAT CONTAINS ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF NUTRIENTS AND AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ARE ESSENTIAL ESPECIALLY IN COLD CONDITIONS. This species’ rosettes are known for being DIFFICULT TO KEEP ALIVE. It grows in a place with BARE LOOSE SOILS, which are often VOLCANIC IN ORIGIN. The PROPAGATION of this plant is ONLY FROM SEED AND NEEDS TO HAVE SOME PATIENCE.
LACK OF LIGHT results elongation of the compact rosettes, which is the MAIN PROBLEM of these plants. It is known that some of them will quickly etiolate, while others may not. This kind of species are more likely to GROW SATISFACTORILY IN CULTIVATION, so there is some scope in picking or selecting.
TOXICITY OF VIOLA VOLCANICA
BOTH THE FLOWERS AND LEAVES ARE EDIBLE FRESH, COOKED, OR DRIED. VIOLAS are NON-TOXIC for humans and pets.
- The violet aphid, Micromyzus violae, and probably also the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, occasionally infest violet. Among the compounds registered for control of this pest in Connecticut are insecticidal soap, ultrafine horticultural oil or malathion. Imidacloprid applied as a systemic also controls these aphids.
BAGWORM, APTERONA HELIX
- The larvae of this moth construct a tiny, helix-shaped, silken bag to which they attach soil particles. From the larger opening they feed on the underside of violet foliage, while pushing grass out the smaller opening at the opposite end. The clear epidermal layer, which may eventually fall out, is left after feeding. Corn and forage crops are used to feed on cucurbits. Each year there is only one generation with the larval, feeding stage, lasting the longest. Only females are known. Eggs are laid within the bag, which is also where pupation occurs. When needed, they can be controlled with the use of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, acephate, or spinosad which are among the products labeled for control of this pest in Connecticut. Consult the label for dosage rates and safety precautions.
VIOLET GALL MIDGE, PHYTOPHAGA VIOLICOLA.
- The small fly or midge lays white eggs in the curled margins of the unfolded new leaves. These eggs hatch, and the maggots remain in the curled margins, causing greater curling, distortion, and twisting of leaves. There are probably several generations annually in greenhouses. Make sure to take care of the situation when the pest becomes a problem for home gardeners, handpicking and disposal of affected leaves. You can also control these midges by applying imidacloprid. In safety precautions, consult the label for dosage rates.
VIOLET SAWFLY, AMETASTEGIA PALLIPES
- At night by blue-black larvae whitish tubercles, the leaves of violent plants in the garden are often eaten. During the day, these larvae hide under the lower leaves or in the soil. When full grown they are about 1/2 inches long. The adult is a black sawfly about 5/8 inches long that lays eggs in blister-like incisions in the leaves. There is only one generation each year. Several treatments may be necessary. Controlling insects are easily treated when you spray larvae with spinosad or malathion. Apply imidacloprid as a systemic to be taken up by the roots, alternatively.