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Native violet (Viola banksii)


Viola banksii, commonly known as native violet, is sold and grown throughout garden nurseries and grown and loved in gardens around Australia, especially in the east. For many years it was known as Viola hederacea, however the species complex was revised in 2004 by Kevin Thiele. Although the Native Violet was initially collected by Banks and Solander, the type specimen was either lost or not provided until a collection by Jacques Labillardière in Tasmania. He discovered that the original type specimen of V. hederacea collected by Labillardière was not the same as the hardier and showier plant later collected, cultivated and widely sold. This second form, native to the New South Wales coast from near Brisbane to Batemans Bay, he named Viola banksii. This species is distinguished by its striking purple and white flowers. As well, the fully developed leaves are almost circular in outline with a deep, narrow, v-shaped sinus at the base, and are usually rather bright, fresh green.

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum:

        • Class: Magnoliopsida

          • Order: Malpighiales

            • Family: Violaceae

              • Genus: Viola