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Growing Black Violets

Question:

Does anyone else grow these beautiful black violets?

Hardiness Zone: 7b

Christine from Sanremo, Italy http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf83922413.tip.html

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Answer

Christine,

These are one of several types of black pansy cultivars. I love them! They really turn heads and make an interesting addition to any flower garden. Just like other pansies, the petals are edible and make a wonderful garnish when cooking (especially desserts and salads) In British folklore black pansies are thought to be magical. It's said that picking them on sunny days will cause stormy weather and picking them while they have dew on their petals will cause the death of a loved one. While I don't subscribe to British folklore, I do think that planting them with orange-colored marigolds, mums or pansies would create great fall planters-especially for Halloween.

Incidentally, for those who are interested, there is often a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between violets and pansies. Both are in the Viola genus (along with violas). Pansies were hybridized in Europe in the 19th century. Like violets, they are low growing, but their flowers are usually much larger with 5 velvety petals that overlap each other perfectly. Unlike violets, pansies come in all colors except green.

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Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 18, 20060 found this helpful

I am cureous too...I have never seen them before

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 19, 20060 found this helpful

no wonder you haven't seen that particular "violet" before, because it is a Pansy.

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We have quite a few different coloured pansys here.
Hamilton, Ont

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