Having decided to start breeding violets, it is important to study the characteristics of the plant, as well as to study information about the rules of its cultivation. If you are accustomed to approaching any business with enthusiasm, relying on scientific experience, you will need other knowledge as well. For example, where and how do violets grow, what are their species differences, how do they get new varieties and hybrid varieties.
Race Violet (Viola) belongs to the family of violet (Violaceae) and has, according to various classifications, from 400 to 500 species, as well as many subspecies and varieties of small, mostly herbaceous plants.
How the violet flower looks like, how to choose the right plant in the store and a lot of other useful information and tips you will get by reading this informative article.
Where the violets grow in nature and what the flowers look like: description with photo and video
The habitat of violets is very wide: from the Arctic and temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere to Tierra del Fuego, the Cape region and the Falkland Islands in the south. They can be found in Eurasia, America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
In the subtropical and tropical areas, violets have chosen mostly mountainous areas, climbing to an altitude of up to 4600 m above sea level (in Peru and Bolivia). In Russia and neighboring countries grows around 115 species of these plants.
To get started, read the description of how violets look in the wild.
Most of these representatives of the flora are perennial, rarely annual herbs or semi-evergreen or deciduous subshrubs with a low leafy, sometimes creeping stem. Sometimes violets look like stemless plants with a rosette of leaves.
The leaves are alternate, simple, whole or lobed, in some species pubescent, with stipules. Flowers solitary, often with long peduncles, located in the axils of the leaves, bisexual.
Consist of five sepals, five petals, five stamens and pistils. Small sepals, similar to small leaves, do not fade for a long time, framing first the buds, then the flowers, and after the wilting of the petals - the ripening box.
See what violets look like on these photos:
Petals form an irregular (zygomorphic) halo, the lower petal of which is larger than the others, sometimes has a spur or a bag-like outgrowth at the base. The color of the petals, depending on the species, is white, blue, purple, yellow, variegated, and in many varieties Vittrock's violets it can be monophonic or multicolored.
As seen in the photo, sometimes the violet flower looks like a rainbow:
The fruit is a dry tricuspid boll that bursts when ripe, often scattering numerous seeds around itself at a distance from 5,5 m:
Violets can grow in a variety of conditions. Some species grow in shady places - forests, bushes, gorges of mountains, others prefer open, sunny meadows, mountain slopes and hills.
Some require wet, sometimes swampy soils, while others feel at ease in the dry wastelands. Violets in nature can grow on sandy seaside dunes, as well as in steppes, prairies and even semi-deserts.
High-altitude species growing in the Andes on extensive scree, perfectly tolerate drought, and the strong summer heat, and very low winter temperatures.
Even the appearance of these violets, with small, numerous, gravelly leaves, forming dense rosettes, is completely unlike the viols we are used to, more reminiscent of a young one.
When describing violets, it is often said that this flower forms a rosette or leaflet of leaves, over which numerous medium-sized buds are lifted on long, up to 20 cm, peduncles.
Where species of violets grow in nature, originating from temperate zones, the soil is always nutritious, moist and loose soil. These plants prefer both sunny and semi-shady places. Bloom in spring and in the first half of summer.
In the hot period, in some species, the flowers become smaller and flowering stops, and with the onset of wet cool weather, it resumes.
Here you can enjoy photos of violet flowers in their natural habitat:
Most species of violets are cross-pollinating plants, and only some (for example, field violet) are self-pollinating.
To prevent self-pollination, many species have various devices: various outgrowths, stiff hairs, the spatial separation of the anthers and stigmas of the pistil, etc.
Violet flowers are pollinated by a variety of insects, to attract which the flowers secrete nectar, which accumulates in the spur on the lower petal. Some species of violets can be pollinated only by certain types of insects.
So, sportive violetoriginally from the Alps, has such a long spur (13-25 mm long) that it can only be pollinated by some species of hawk moths, and the violet is a two-flower, with a short thick spur (the entire length of 2-3 mm), is pollinated by flies.
A very interesting fact about violets is that insects contribute not only to the pollination of these flowers, but also to the spread of their seeds. In the process of how the violets grow and their seeds ripen, special oily juicy growths, called oily bodies, or eliosomes, are formed on them.
It is these seeds, fallen or scattered from the boxes, that the ants are looking for, and then they are spread to some distance from the mother plants. Moreover, the germination of seeds, the peel of which was gnawed by the jaws of ants, is significantly increased.
Seeds, on which there are no eliosomes, do not touch the ants. In addition to ants, viral seeds in nature can be spread by birds, lizards, deer, goats, and some other animals, and in a number of species - by rain or river water.
The diameter of the flowers in violets can be from 0,6 cm (in some natural species) to 12 cm (in large-color varieties of Vittrok violets).
After watching this video, you will get a lot of interesting information about violets:
The history of the origin of violets and the selection of a flower in different countries (with photo)
Violets were the favorites of many nations from ancient times, so it is quite natural to assume that in ancient times people not only admired this flower, but also tried to grow it near their homes.
Unfortunately, accurate information about the history of the cultivation of violets has not reached our days, but the legends say that the fashion for violets was so great that they grew their huge plantations around ancient Athens and Rome.
The number of plantations with violets was so great that even Pliny complained that it would have been better for the Romans to plant fields with olive groves than useless flowers.
Most likely, here we are talking about the history of origin fragrant violets (V. odorata), because in those days there were not yet large multicolored,
Pansies (F. x wittrockiana)
The main advantage of these plants was their wondrous fragrance.
From the Romans love for violets passed to the Italians. In the Middle Ages a large-flowered terry variety of violet fragrant was created in Parma - Parma violet (V. odorata var. parmensis)which was used mainly as an aromatic plant.
In 1870, the famous perfume “Vera Violetta” was created on the basis of her flowers in France, which are still produced today.
Other species of violets, apparently, were introduced to the culture much later violet fragrant. Thus, the tricolor violet flower is known from the history of the cultivation of garden plants in the first half of the 16th century.
One of the first attempts to make U. tricolor common in home gardens was undertaken by the German botanist Joachim Camerius the Younger, as well as Prince William of Hesse-Kassel, who lived at the end of the XVI century. The first complete botanical description of this flower also belongs to this time.
In the 17th century, Vandergren, a gardener of the Prince of Orange, began to pay particular attention to the tricolor violet. He brought 5 varieties, which can rightly be considered the ancestors of cultivated pansies. In 1819, Lady Mary Bennett, daughter of Earl Tankerville, played viola.
Her gardener, William Richard, sowed the whole garden and the whole terrace of the Tankervili Castle in Walton (England) with pansies, and then began to collect seeds from the largest and most beautiful specimens and sow them again.
As a result, wonderful varieties were soon created, which attracted the attention of many flower lovers and made the pansies favorite gardeners.
However, the main triumph of the selection of violets was still ahead. In 1830's, i.e. in 15 years after the experiences of William Richard and Mary Bennet, the tricolor violet was crossed with the European large-color violet yellow (V. lutea), violet horned (V. cornuta)known in culture since the end of the 18th century (the first mention of it as a cultivated plant dates back to 1776), and Altai violet (V. altaica), brought to Europe at the beginning of the XIX century.
Many hybrid forms were obtained. An interesting fact: such violets were so different from the original species that they were allocated to a new species - Vittrok violet. In 1835, Charles Darwin counted more than 400 forms of this species, among which there were specimens with velvety and satin flowers, similar to modern varieties.
These photos show how different kinds of violet flowers look like:
A significant number of species of violets were introduced to the culture in the XX century due to the emergence of the fashion for rock gardens and alpine plants. In addition, some species are widely used in natural style gardens, especially shady ones.
In the history of Russian gardening, the first mention of violets dates back to the 17th century. According to the famous botanist Arnold Regel, at that time, the gardens were decorated with the most unpretentious flowers taken from nature, including violets.
In the following centuries, cultural exchange established between Russia and European countries also affected gardening.
Russia began to receive whole collections of ornamental plants, widely distributed in parks and gardens. At the beginning of the XX century N.F. Zolotnitsky wrote about hundreds of varieties of pansies that adorn our gardens, the most interesting of these violets he called the varieties 'Emperor Wilhelm' with variegated flowers and 'Germany' with twisting petals.
In Soviet times, in the urban and garden landscaping, the main place was also occupied by Vittroke violet. Famous flower scientist G.Е. In 1954, Kiselev wrote about a huge number of varieties of this species belonging to two main groups - grandiflora and giant.
Of the other types of violets, he mentions only three: fragrant violet, horned violet and purple violet.
These photos show the results of the selection of violets:
In recent decades, in Russia, as in many other countries of the world, interest in the introduction of new species and the creation of original varieties based on them has sharply increased. Not bypassed this process and violets. Descriptions of new species of violets introduced into culture began to appear in the literature.
Thus, in the well-known reference book of ornamental garden plants, E.S. and N.A. Axenovs (2000) describes 8 species of violets used in gardening, and the Encyclopedia of garden trees, shrubs and flowers of the British Royal Society of Gardeners 1999 published a description of 21 viols.
Recently, a new hybrid look has appeared in the catalogs - Williams Violet (V-. x williamsii)as well as a large number of hybrid varieties of perennial violets, whose pedigree is extremely difficult to determine.
After reviewing the photo and description of violets, you need to get an idea of how to choose plants when buying:
Buying Violet Flowers: How to Choose Perennial Crop Plants
Currently, florists are not faced with the problem of buying violet seeds or finished planting material (unless, of course, we are not talking about rare varieties or few species used in culture).
It is only necessary to figure out which species are suitable for the conditions of your garden and which varieties will be most successfully combined in habit and color with other participants in one or another flower arrangement.
Perennial flowers of violets are most often available in the store and garden centers in the form of ready-made planting material: well-developed plants (often flowering) grown in plastic containers or pots.
When buying such plants, pay attention to the label indicating the species and its basic requirements for the cultivation conditions. In the absence of such data, contact the sellers for clarification or look through the catalog of this company or other reference literature.
Before you buy a violet, pay attention that the plants are not faded, yellowed, so that there are no spots on the leaves and other traces of diseases or pests.
If, after buying plants in containers, you do not have the opportunity to immediately plant them in a permanent place, then put them in a shaded place and water moderately until planting.
Some species of perennial plants of violets can be purchased from flower growers, plant collectors or in botanical gardens. In such cases, as a rule, bushes or delenki (part of the bush) with an open root system are acquired, so it is important to take into account the phase of plant development.
For the most part, perennial violets tolerate dividing the bushes and transplanting throughout the growing season, but the most favorable for transplanting are the period at which leaves begin to grow in the spring (mid-April) and the second half of summer, after the flowering and seed ripening.
How to choose such violets?
When acquiring such plants, it is necessary to make sure that the soil in which the excavated plants sit is moist and the leaves are not faded. All shoots should have a well-developed root lobe.
Delenki must be immediately packed in plastic bags or boxes and watered moderately, not allowing the roots to dry. Such planting material should be planted as soon as possible into the ground.
Some types of viola between sowing seeds and the emergence of seedlings take a long time, so if you have a seedling still a month after sowing, do not be discouraged and do not throw the soil out of the sowing box, but just have patience.
Sometimes in the shops you can buy seeds of some species. If you are already familiar with the description of plants of violets, carefully read the recommendations for their cultivation, since the seeds of some species need to create special conditions for planting: stratification (freezing), scarification (disturbance of the seed coat), etc.
Often, lovers of herbaceous plants dig up their favorite violets directly from "nature." Many environmentalists and botanists categorically do not recommend doing this in order not to impoverish the wild nature.
If you still decide to transfer a plant from a forest or meadow to a garden, do it carefully, taking it in places of significant accumulation of this species, and in very small quantities, so as not to disturb the ecological system prevailing in this place.
Then you will get tips on choosing one-year-old two-year violets.
How to buy annual and biennial garden flowers violets
Buy seeds or planting material such species as Vittrok violet or horned violet, currently does not present any difficulties. In any garden center, store or tent you will be offered a whole set of seeds or already flowering plants data species with all sorts of colors of flowers. What to choose?
First of all, decide what suits you best: purchase seeds and grow seedlings from them or buy ready-made planting material. The first way of buying annual or biennial violets is cheaper and more interesting for many fans, but rather laborious and requires certain skills and conditions.
When buying seeds of cultivated plants of violets, be sure to pay attention not only to the picture and the bright advertising inscription on the bag, but also to the characteristics of this variety.
On packages with seeds should be indicated: the name of the crop (in Russian and in Latin), the variety (if it is a certain variety, not species), shelf life, germination, the number of seeds in a package (in pieces or grams).
Carefully read the description of the appearance of plants: their size, color of flowers, because it may not coincide with the color of the flowers depicted on the package.
When purchasing seeds of garden flowers of violets, also note that these are varieties or heterotic hybrids. The name of the latter must contain the symbol “F,”. From the seeds of such hybrids, the most qualitative, leveled planting material is obtained, however, the price of hybrid seeds is much higher than ordinary varietal ones.
If you do not have the ability or desire to grow your own seedlings of ornamental plants of violets, then you can purchase flowering plants that are ready for planting in almost any flower market.
Of course, it is much better to purchase seedlings with a closed root system grown in pots or cassettes. Such seedlings take root more easily after transplantation into the soil, it is easier to transport and it can be stored for a considerable time before planting in a cool, shade from direct sunlight.
In addition, buying already blooming seedlings, you can immediately see its varietal quality: the habit of plants, color and size of flowers.
When buying cartridges with seedlings viola pay attention to the plants were not stretched. Qualitative seedlings should have the form of a compact bush with one or several flowers, or large buds.
You should not buy plants with long shoots, at the ends of which there are relatively small flowers (unless, of course, this is not the variety of ampella violas) - you can hardly create a beautiful flower garden from such plants.
When purchasing a cassette with pansies, carefully examine it. All plants in a cassette must be well developed, i.e. be approximately the same size, be strong, not lethargic, with bright green leaves and buds or flowers and a moist earthy clod.
In addition, they should not have signs of disease (ie, no rotting or dry spots, moldy plaque, blackened areas on leaves or stems) or pests (on pedicels, buds or the underside of leaves, you can sometimes notice an aphids or whitefly , and whitish or cobwebbing on the leaves may indicate plant damage by ticks and thrips).
Also check that the plants are in all cells of the cassette. To do this, gently push the bushes in the middle of the cassette, and if you find empty cells or very weak, underdeveloped plants (which happens quite often) - ask the seller to replace them.
These photos show violet plants in cassettes:
Pansies perfectly tolerate transplanting, even in flowering condition.
In some flower markets in the spring, you can still find grandmothers selling old-fashioned viola seedlings with a bare root system, bundled together in several bundles and wrapped in a damp newspaper or film.
The cost of such seedlings, as a rule, is much lower than that sold in cassettes, and the flowers look very large and attractive.
If you decide to buy such planting material, ask them to unfold the bag and inspect the plants: the roots should be in a small lump of moist soil, and on the stems and leaves should not be noticeable damage to diseases or pests.
Try as soon as possible to plant the plants in the ground, water them well during planting and in sunny weather for a few days to lighten with lutrasil or paper for better survival.
What do violet seeds look like and how to prepare them (with photos)
In order to procure seeds of Vittroke violet or similar species, it is necessary to know some of the biological features of these plants. Violet seeds ripen unevenly, from mid-June until the first frost.
At full maturity, the seed pods crack, scattering the seed over a considerable distance around with force. At the same time, the seeds of these species are poorly metered and have a low germination rate. Determine the time when you can break the seed pods, you can by their size, color and position on the plant.
It is not necessary to buy viola seeds in the store every year, you can collect them on your own plot.
To obtain seed violets, use the following tips. Only large ones should be plucked, most of the varieties have brightened boxes, which have already turned upwards on the stalk, if the boxes are directed downwards - the seeds have not yet matured in them. During mass ripening, the seeds are collected at least 2-3 once a week.
Dry the testes in a dry room at 25-30 ° C. The torn boxes are laid out in a thin layer in linen or gauze bags or in boxes, always covered with paper or cloth on top (when dried, the bolls crack, scattering seeds far around).
After complete drying, the heap is gently rubbed with the hands and sifted seeds are sieved through a sieve, and then they are blown clean in the wind or rolled back on a plate.
Look at how seeds look Violets on these photos:
In order to get high-quality varietal seeds of pansies, one must keep in mind that this species is cross-pollinated, therefore the distance between different varieties must be at least 500 m.
Of course, it is impossible to observe such spatial isolation at the dacha, and it doesn’t matter if you want to get a population with different colors of flowers. But if you want to propagate a particular variety, it is better to plant it in a separate area, if not in 500 m from other varieties, then at least behind the house or garden.
At the same time, it is also necessary to take into account the neighbors, who may also be lovers of pansies and plant them on their plots. It is necessary to collect seeds only from healthy and most typical plants for this variety.
If you are going to harvest seeds from any sample, be sure to note whether it is a variety or a heterotic F1 hybrid. The latter are often well-tied seeds, but you will not get high-quality, high-grade material.
Many types of viola well pereopilyatsya among themselves. Therefore, when engaged in seed production, it is necessary to carefully weed out wild-growing field violet around it and not plant other varieties of violets next to it.
And finally - another collection of photos of different types of violet flowers: