Also called johnny jump up, this herbaceous annual is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa, and a member of the violet family, Violaceae. The plant grows up to 8″ tall from a taproot and has a slender, erect stem. The leaves are up to 1″ long, oval to round, and have bluntly toothed margins. The flowers appear in spring and have 4-5 white or pale cream-colored petals with a yellow throat accented with a few, dark purple lines. The lateral petals are bearded on the upper surface, while the lower-most petal is larger than the others and spurred. The fruit is a dry capsule that splits open to expel many small seeds. Plants readily self seed and can become weedy. The genus name, Viola, is the Latin name for the plant. The specific epithet, arvensis, is the Latin word meaning of the field, referring to the natural habitat of the plant.
Bloom: White or pale cream-colored flowers with a yellow throat, accented with a few, dark purple lines.
Size: 8″ H
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, slightly acidic
Care: Low maintenance
Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to damage by fungal leaf diseases aphids, slugs and snails, and deer.
Companion Plants: Cranesbill, bachelor buttons, beardtongue
Outstanding Selections: None available
Photo Credit: Kenraiz Wikimedia Commons