Alphabetical Plant Listing

Viola langsdorffii (Alaska Violet)

Alaska Violet, Aleutian Violet, Viola langsdorfii, Viola simulata, Viola superba


Hardy, pretty and easy to grow, Viola langsdorffii (Alaska Violet) is a low-growing perennial with rounded, heart-shaped leaves at the tips of long petioles, up to 8 in. (20 cm). Eye-catching, large, light bluish-violet flowers with dark purple veins appear in mid spring to late summer. Their lateral petals display small white beards. Alaska Violet is edible, with both leaves and flowers historically used for food and medicine. The leaves and flowers are high in vitamin C and can be used in salads. This perennial wildflower grows from thick horizontal rhizomes and prefers moist to wet soils. It survives in a multitude of habitats, naturalizing in meadows and along water features. Often regarded as an early sign of spring, it thrives all season long in cool climates. If left to set seed, expect more of these little gems to appear every year.

  • Growing up to 2-10 in. tall (5-25 cm), this Violet will spread by self-seeding and creeping rhizomes.
  • A full sun to part shade lover, it is best grown in humus-rich, moist to wet, well-drained soils. Benefits from a winter covering of leaves or evergreen boughs.
  • This plant is very versatile and can be used on banks and slopes, cottage gardens, prairies and meadows, woodland gardens, along ponds and streams or as a ground cover.
  • Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, violet gall midge, powdery mildews and pansy leaf spot.
  • Propagate using seed, runner divisions or rooted offsets. Seeds must be exposed to freezing for spring germination.
  • Native to Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Viola - Violets
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2" – 10" (5cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Nick Pecker, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Viola - Violets
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2" – 10" (5cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Guides with Viola - Violets

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