With Foliage Like This, Who Needs Flowers?
At last, a Viola we can enjoy not only in spring and fall, but all summer long — and winter too, in warm climates. A free bloomer grown not for its flowers but its foliage, this dramatically variegated Violet is a delight in any setting. Each of these large, boldly pointed, serrated leaves sports a large maroon-red center that “bleeds” into a narrow, bright green edge. The effect of these two colors side by side is electrifying, calling attention to the low-growing plant from across the garden!Just 6 inches high (possibly up to 8 when the flowers emerge) and a foot wide, ‘Heartthrob’ is ideal for edging and the front of the border or foundation as well as containers of all kinds. Its lovely variegation deserves an up-close look, but it is certainly visible even from a distance, and is breathtaking in a mass planting.
The foliage is mounded and dense, pointing up and out in all directions on this compact plant. It also sets numerous violet blooms in spring and sometimes in fall, but the variegation is its real draw — especially in summer, when other Violets have little to say for themselves. Evergreen, it keeps its colors all winter as well as through the summer heat.’Heartthrob’ is a bit more sun-tolerant than many other Viola, withstanding full exposure in northern climates but appreciating some shade farther south. It thrives in moist, well-nourished, draining soil, and is a fine container choice. Plant it among other Viola as a succession planting (it will become prominent when the others’ spring blooms pass), or set it in the partly shaded border with Trillium, Primula, and more. Zones 5-9