Mittwoch, 13. April 2011

Plant of the Day (April 13rd, 2011)

If you going out this days you will often find a small flower with a violet and curios shaped blossoms, which grows on meadows or in gardens. This plant is known as Viola x bavarica Schrank (“Bastard Wald-Veilchen (Bastard Forrest Viola)” or “Bayrisches Veilchen (Bavarian Viola)” in German), a member of the Violaceae Family.

It is a hybrid between Viola reichenbachiana Boreau and Viola riviniana Rchb(in Taxonomy an x before the species always implies a Bastard or a Hybrid). This plant is very common in Germany and sometimes, it is more common as the origin species V. reichenbachiana and V. riviniana.

Because of the similarity of V. x bavarica to this two species, it is often confused by beginners with them, but it can easily identified by the colour of its spur (a small extension of the blossom). Viola reichenbachiana Boreau has a dark violet spur, Viola riviniana Rchb. a pale white one. As the hybrid the spur of Viola x bavarica has often a pale violet colour. The spur colour can vary, which depends on the influence of the parents, but it will never be as dark as the spur of V. reichenbachiana or so white as the spur of Viola riviniana.

In my case, this individuals of V. x bavarica have more from V. riviniana, because the spur has the colour of a very bright pink. I found this one on a meadow in my garden, where it's blooming since the end of March 2011. It's a very large population, growing in the shadow of some Hbiscus shrubs and a apple tree (Malus domesticus Borkh.). They are small plants; only a couple of centimetres high.

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