One of my favorite spring flowers to plant is the viola. These small cousin to pansies are perfect for containers or even in the garden.
Violas are the older of the two types of flowers and pansies arose from breeding different violas together back in the 19th century.
Pansies are violas like sunshine, rich organic soil and don’t want to dry out. Violas can even make it through winter where the temperatures stay above about 10F.
You might not realize the leaves and flowers of these plants are edible. They contain high amounts of vitamins A and C. I think the violas look amazing in a salad and really add to any meal.
The University of Tennessee and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens tested 142 varieties of pansies and violas in 29 different series for landscape performance and appeal. Nine were chosen as outstanding:
Pansy series: Maxim, Crystal Bowl, Universal, Fanfare, and Sorbet
Viola series: Splendid, Penny, Springtime, and Jewel
Six were chosen to be star winners:
Pansy varieties: “Fanfare Deep Blue Blotch”, “Clear Sky Orange”, and “Skyline White”
Viola varieties: “Jewel Maroon and Yellow”, “Sorbet Yellow Delight”, and “Penny Violet Beacon”
If you want to have some fun with the plants use them in funky containers or even in hanging baskets. They are a very easy plant to grown and manipulate well into small spaces.