Australian Violet – Viola hederacea is a species of violet which is native to eastern Australia, where it is widespread and can be found growing in the shade of forests, in moist yet well-drained soils. It is a delightful spreading evergreen groundcover which forms mats of bright green, heart-shaped leaves and produces masses of tiny white and violet flowers in spring, summer and autumn.
The Australian Violet is an excellent fast spreading perennial groundcover for moist, shady areas. It is good to stabilise the soil on banks and can be planted next to rivers, ponds or dams. It is essential in all cottage and woodland gardens and looks lovely planted between stepping stones and alongside pathways; it is also a wonderful addition to mixed container plantings and hanging baskets.
Although it thrives in moist shady places, it will also grow happily in full sun as long as it can be watered regularly. It grows well throughout the country and can tolerate temperatures as high as the mid 40’s°C if the soil is kept moist. It is also hardy to frost and can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°C for short periods; in severely cold regions the leaves will go dormant in winter, but if the roots are thickly mulched the plant will shoot again in spring. The Australian violet will grow quickly to +-15 tall and can spread 30 to 50cm. It is adaptable to most garden soils and can be grown in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils. It is adapted to chalk, clay loam, loam, loamy sand, sandy clay, sandy clay loam and sandy loam soils.
Propagation is by division of the runners in autumn.