En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 10, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Source for two violas for Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Houston, TX. Can you tell me where I can buy viola rotundifolia and viola cucullata? I understand these are round-leaved yellow violet and marsh blue violet respectively. I stumbled on these while searching and I have fallen in love with them. And I have the perfect spot. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Viola rotundifolia (Roundleaf yellow violet) shows up on this USDA Plant Profile Map as growing naturally no nearer Texas than Tennessee.

Viola cucullata (Blue marsh violet), in this USDA Plant Profile Map also grows mostly in the eastern United States, but as close to Texas as Arkansas and Mississippi.  Let's look at some more information on each of these two plants to see why they don't appear to favor Harris County in Texas.

From the Missouri Botanical Garden, (where they do grow) on Viola cucullata:

"Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Freely self-seeds to the point of being weedy. Performs better in cool summer climates."

So, what do you think - is Houston in a cool summer climate?

From Minnesota Wildflowers on Blue Marsh Violet. Note a box on that page with this message:

"Where to buy native seed and plants

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

Help support this site by buying seeds & plants from these vendors. Tell them we sent you!"

Don't believe Houston is in the upper midwest, either. So, we will refer you to our National Suppliers Directory. Put your town and state or just your zip code in the"Enter Search Location"  box and click GO. You will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers, and consultants in your general area. Beyond that, you might Google by the common name of each (round-leaved yellow violet or blue marsh violet) and you could find nursery advertisements; however, we are betting they are going to be from other states where growing conditions are very different.

We hate to see you spin your wheels, but from what we are seeing, we are betting that nothing you could do would induce either plant to grow in Houston. Remember, you were warned!

 

From the Image Gallery


Marsh blue violet
Viola cucullata

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Difficulty identifying/finding a plant
August 21, 2010 - I have been advised that the Calandria (sic) is a good plant to cover a cement wall surrounding our home in La Quinta, CA. I cannot find such a plant on line. Can you assist? I want to entirely cov...
view the full question and answer

Sources for native plants wholesale in Boston, MA
October 31, 2003 - My professor and I are looking for a list of native plant wholesale nurseries in the Boston, MA region.
view the full question and answer

Nurseries that Sell Perennial Native Plants in Fort Worth,TX
September 29, 2010 - Where can I locate a nursery or nurseries with the best selection of perennial native plants in Fort Worth?
view the full question and answer

Starting shade-tolerant ground covers in New York
September 10, 2013 - Hi, I have seen some of the posts for shade-tolerant ground cover on the east end of Long Island and my question is process related. Now that I've identified the grasses/plants I need to keep my fro...
view the full question and answer

Outdoor container gardening in Hughesville PA
September 15, 2009 - Coming from Europe, I have found myself in a whole new climate and am trying to learn about what is possible for gardening in PA. Unfortunately, at this moment,we live in a trailer and have little roo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center