Friday, May 16, 2014

The Mysterious Viola "Columbine"

Thank you for solving a mystery, fellow gardeners.  And maybe I can return the favor.

I would love to thank everyone who responded to my "mystery plant" post on yesterday's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and correctly identified a plant in our back yard.  It had a tag attached to it that said Viola "Columbine".  It's not, as several knowledgeable gardeners (including one local gardener) pointed out.
It is a Epimedium sulphureum.  Tonight, we found its tag, a few feet away from the plant. Strangely (or not so strangely, if you know me) I don't even remember buying it or who I purchased it from.  But, purchase it I had.  Obviously.

Several commenters asked, in turn, "what is a viola columbine"?  Well, admitting to a punctuation "oops" (blame it on a hurting back - that's my story and I'm sticking to it), what I was talking about was a Viola "Columbine".  The only Latin name I can find is Viola cornuta, which is the Latin name for a "horned violet" native to northern Spain.

It is a perennial viola, not a columbine.

This is the Viola "Columbine" I purchased at Tioga Gardens in April or May of 2013.  In turn, they had purchased it from White Flower Farms, according to the now famous tag. How its tag got onto the Epimedium sulphureum, I don't know.  But, I did want to prove that I hadn't totally lost it.

My guess is, the poor Viola "Columbine" has gone to viola heaven, along with another perennial viola I had in my front yard.  It joins the honor roll of several other plants I lost to our harsh winter here in upstate New York.

So, now that I've had my 15 minutes of Internet embarrassment, perhaps I should ask my fellow gardeners "what was your most embarrassing gardening moment?" (No, you don't have to answer.)

And yes, I intend to be back for June's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

6 comments:

  1. I love Columbines. Such a pretty flower. I used to work at a greenhouse. It was very difficult not to come home with everything! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love columbines, too - although I only have two kinds now, I plan to buy more.

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  2. Violas sometimes make it through the winter, sometimes not. But they often reseed. Look around where your viola was, maybe you can see babies coming along. But it is pretty stoopid to name a flower after another flower. It's like breeding a new rose bush and calling it 'Geranium' or 'Petunia'. I've seen a similar viola but it was called Tie-Dye, a more apt name in my opinion. I wonder if it is possible to buy seeds of that viola?

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    1. I agree "tie dye" is a much better name. Now, if they could only breed an Impatien Begonia....

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  3. Violas are gorgeous! What pretty flowers. Your garden looks very lovely indeed! :-)

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    1. Thank you. One day, I intend to visit Europe and see the gardens there. It would be grand!

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