Plant of the day: two eyed violet

There’s not much that is prettier than a glade filled with violets. They are tougher than they look – two eyed violets like serpentine soil, as well as grassy meadows or rocky hillsides. I saw the ones pictured here growing on the edge of a redwood forest, under some pepperwood trees. Two eyed violets (Viola ocellata) are distinctively named, as they can be distinguished from all other local violets by the two purple spots on their lateral petals. According to the Marin Flora, there is only one other purple violet in the area, and it lacks the paired spots. All the other violets around are yellow.

These little beauties are endemic to the north-western parts of California, and even though they look like a fragile annual they are actually perennials!

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Filed under Good for gardens, Native, Plant of the day

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