Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, April  2017
   Viola jooi - by Gordon Toner

My first encounter with viola jooi was from the AGS seed exchange. I had no idea of the colour or size of the flower when I ticked its name in the catalogue. The seeds were sown in February in a 50:50 mix of compost and horticultural grit

It germinated in the spring next year I was pleased when I saw the lovely little flowers of pinkish mauve appearing next March in a pot in the alpine house.

I have planted some plants out in a trough in an open compost. So far they have survived the past few winters.

Viola jooi sets a lot of seed each year. I sow some fresh seed in July, and send the rest to the AGS seed exchange.

Known also as the 'Transylvanian violet', Viola jooi grows on limestone rocks and in fissures in the Carpathian mountains in Romania (and there is a small population with white flowers in Serbia). 

It makes a very good show plant for the spring shows