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Arrowhead violet (Viola betonicifolia)


Viola betonicifolia, commonly known as the arrowhead violet, showy violet or mountain violet, is a small perennial herbaceous shrub of the Viola, which contains pansies and violets. It occurs from India and Pakistan in southern Asia throughout eastern Australia and Tasmania. It grows in shaded habitat in forests. This species is distinguished by long, slender arrow-shaped leaves grow from the base of the plant, which has no stem as such, and are up to 6 cm (2.4 in) long with a v-shaped sinus at the base, and are usually rather bright, fresh green. Its striking bright purple flowers are 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) in diameter and occur in spring and summer. Flowers are followed by small pale brown pods with tiny blackish seeds. Viola betonicifolia is found in Tasmania and eastern mainland Australia from South Australia through Victoria and New South Wales, and into Queensland. It also occurs in Asia westwards to India and Pakistan. It grows in shady areas in forest. Viola betonicifolia is an easy plant to grow, and adaptable to different soil types as long as it get sufficient moisture and at least half shade or more in a garden situation. It is good for rockeries. It can be quite vigorous in heavier, moisture retentive soils and forms clumps to about 30 cm (12 in) diameter. It is self-seeding.

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum:

        • Class: Magnoliopsida

          • Order: Malpighiales

            • Family: Violaceae

              • Genus: Viola