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Useful Tropical Plants

Viola betonicifolia

Sm.

Violaceae

+ Synonyms

Viola caespitosa D.Don

Viola inconspicua dielsiana W.Becker

Viola oblongosagittata violascens Nakai

Viola patrinii caespitosa (D.Don) Ridl.

Viola patrinii laotiana H.Boissieu

Viola patrinii nepaulensis Ging.

Common Name:

Viola betonicifolia
Cultivated plant, showing the flower, opened seed capsule and leaves
Photograph by: Casliber
Creative Commons License
Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia Viola betonicifolia

General Information

Viola betonicifolia is a very variable, stemless, evergreen perennial plant grpwing from a thickened main root and producing a cluster of growth 5 - 40cm tall. In cold winters, or in a drought, the plant dies back to a perennial rootstock[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated for use as a pot herb and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Known Hazards

All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities[
62
Title
A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T. and Dykeman. P.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold
Year
1982
ISBN
0442222009
Description
Very readable.
,
85
Title
Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
Publication
 
Author
Harrington. H. D.
Publisher
University of New Mexico Press
Year
1967
ISBN
0-8623-0343-9
Description
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
,
159
Title
Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
Publication
 
Author
McPherson. A. and S.
Publisher
Indiana University Press
Year
1977
ISBN
0-253-28925-4
Description
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
]. The flowers of this species are pale purple to violet[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - China, central and southern Japan, Korea, Afghanistan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia

Habitat

Damp, shaded forest habitats; more open sclerophyll forest; grassy hillsides; growing well on cleared land that is not heavily grazed[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
]. Fields, roadsides, grasslands on mountain slopes, thickets, forest
margins; at elevations below 1,500 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsInsects, Cleistogamous
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Viola betonicifolia has a wide natural range from the warm temperate zone of southern China, through the tropical regions (where it is usually at elevations over 1,000 metres), to the warm temperate zone of Australia.
Species in this genus generally prefer a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. They can tolerate sandstone and limestone soils but become chlorotic if the pH is too high. They prefer a pH between 6 and 6.5[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
When well-suited, the plant will usually self-sow freely in gardens[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].
All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities[
62
Title
A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T. and Dykeman. P.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold
Year
1982
ISBN
0442222009
Description
Very readable.
,
85
Title
Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
Publication
 
Author
Harrington. H. D.
Publisher
University of New Mexico Press
Year
1967
ISBN
0-8623-0343-9
Description
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
,
159
Title
Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
Publication
 
Author
McPherson. A. and S.
Publisher
Indiana University Press
Year
1977
ISBN
0-253-28925-4
Description
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
].
Like several other members of this genus, this species has two types of flower. The first type has petals and is pollinated by insects. The second type are formed later in the season, known as cleistogamous, they do not have petals, never open, but self-fertilize and produce fertile seed[
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - cooked and used as a pot herb[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Medicinal

The flowers are generally taken as a diuretic and expectorant[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. A syrup made from the flowers is used as a remedy for cough, colds, asthma and hoarseness[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in containers in a lightly shaded position, Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out when large enough.
Division works at any time of the year, so long as the plants are kept moist. Small divisions are best potted up until established, larger divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Viola+betonicifolia>

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