Friday, 12 November 2010

True blue violets



There are 500 different kinds of Violet in the Northern Hemisphere. We have only a handful of Viola species native to Australia, but (as I discussed on radio a couple of years ago) the numbers are growing…

Viola banksii is a relatively new name for the native species we grow in our gardens. This species grows naturally from Batemans Bay to about Brisbane and was described in 2003.

The new name is perfect. Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, fresh off the Endeavour, collected this tiny plant with its almost circular leaves and purple and white mottled flowers from Botany Bay in 1770.

Until recently we called our common garden species Viola hederacea, but this particular species has pale washed-out flowers and semi-circular leaves. It’s widespread from southern Australia north to Barrington Tops, but doesn’t seem to have made it into cultivation.

When I spoke with Simon Marnie in early 2007, another violet had been added to our flora. Viola silicestris – the species name referring to its predilection for sandy soils - has a similar range to Viola banksii, but you’ll pick this one by generally broad leaves and pale blue to violet flowers.

Or maybe you won’t. All these violets overlap a lot in there diagnostic characters, and if you only have a few leaves and a couple of flowers it will be difficult to identify them to species, even for an expert.

There are more new species, some named, others waiting for publication. It’s probably easiest to call them all violets for now, but do look out for the different coloured flowers and different shaped leaves – it’s subtle but they do represent some real diversity amongst the leave litter.

Image: 'a violet' from my home garden. *A story from the Radio Archives (Feb 2007)

2 comments:

Ron Mylar said...

You have given a very nice description about the different types of plants and with their different kinds. And this Violet in the Northern Hemisphere flower is very beautiful.

Canada Immigration said...

Immigration on a whole is very beneficial to Canada and its residents. History tells repeatedly that it is human kind that loses its previleges. Immigration is good for Canada and its people in any way you consider but the undeue advantage taken by a few people in the name of refugee act bestowed by Canadian government is being highly misused. We have to wait and see how far Canada can allow people in the name of refugees. Of course, humanitarian concerns are to be given the highest priority for human kind’s development and survival but misuse of a syustm is highly deplorable. Let us all pray that the gates of immigration be not closed for all those good people and eligible aspirants just because of the refugees who infiltrate this country and can be a bigger and unsolvable problem. As of now Canada is large in heart and resources.