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Viola 'Dynamite Blotch' (pansy)
Viola 'Dynamite Blotch' (pansy)

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Zones 2-7, 31-43
Partial Sun
Regular Water

Viola pedata

Bird’s Foot Violet


Botanically speaking, violas, pansies, and almost all violets are perennials belonging to the genus Viola.

However, violas and pansies are usually treated as annuals, invaluable for winter and spring bloom in mild-winter areas, for spring-through-summer color in colder climates.

Typically used for mass color in borders and edgings, as covers for spring-flowering bulbs, in containers. Violets are more often used as woodland or rock garden plants.

Violas and ­pansies take sun or partial shade; violets grow in part or full shade (except as noted), but most are natives of deciduous forests and bloom best with at least some sun during the flowering season.

Viola pedata

So named because its finely divided leaves resemble a bird’s foot. Forms a clump to 2 in. high, 4 in. wide; does not spread by runners. Blooms from early spring to early summer; 4-in. stems bear inch-wide, typically two-tone violet-blue flowers with darker veining. Not as easy to grow as other violets; likes excellent drain­age, filtered sun or high shade, and acidic soil.

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