Author Topic: Viola Breeding  (Read 314 times)

Garrett Schantz

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Viola Breeding
« on: 2021-05-14, 11:11:22 AM »
I am planning on doing some Viola breeding pretty soon. Unsure if anyone here would be interested. Mostly just selecting for slightly larger flowers (Nothing that is too large, won't seed itself well or get damaged easily). Natural variations would be fun to work with as well.

First image is the normal variation found in my area. Deeper purple color than what you usually find when searching for Viola sororia online.

Second image has some paler types that I found in a clump outside - different than the usual coloration here. There were other purple types in the same spot, so not a soil issue. Just mutants I am assuming.
They are no longer blooming, should flower better next year once they get established - I also put a single "normal variant" flower in the image for comparison. 

Third image, found this plant today. Very large white / yellow area in the center compared to other types. The only two flowers on this plant share the trait.

This is mostly just for North American Violets - I am unsure if types from other places hybridize at all with other types.

There are already improved Violas, more petals - all sorts of things. Just thought it would be a fun side project.

If anyone does want to try this out - just get some "dirt" from the areas where Violas normally grow in your area. They aren't too picky with what they grow in.

Prairiemoon sells a bunch of Viola species. Picking types suited to your area might work best. Afterwards, traits from other species could be gradually mixed in.

If nobody is interested I will probably just post about this on Twitter or something. This would be more of an ornamental breeding project.
« Last Edit: 2021-05-15, 01:33:24 PM by Joseph Lofthouse »

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #1 on: 2021-05-14, 11:24:24 AM »
The third one almost seems like a reverse version of the kind that grows wild around here that we call a "Confederate Violet" (white with a blue center).

V. sororia also comes in pure white and "delft blue" (white with blue/purple speckles.

I think I saw one this year in our yard that was white with thin blue "ribs" (so different from the pure white) 


Garrett Schantz

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #2 on: 2021-05-14, 12:27:51 PM »
Yeah, V. sororia is a pretty variable species. Mutations are easy to notice as well. Usually they get eliminated due to the high presence of normal types donationing pollen.

Looking for mutants is fun.

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #3 on: 2021-05-14, 12:42:10 PM »
I was doing my own selection pressure thing on  the common garden viola Viola tricolor (at least, I assume it's V. tricolor, the definition of what is a viola and what is a pansy is a little confusing to me). I just took this year off due to lack of material.

Basically, I'm trying to up the supply of red violas (red is common in larger pansies, but rare in the smaller violas) and make them more fertile (red's seem to be lousy seed producers, which is probably why they are so rare). In fact, I wasn't able to get ANY this year (thought I did find a mutation in a pink pack that is a lovely shade of dark wine. Hopefully I'll get good seed from that and be able to make more next year.) 

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #4 on: 2021-05-14, 02:10:03 PM »
Most Viola tricolor types sold are Pansy types.

Chromosome counts and all sorts of things differ. This is because pansies are hybrids with species related to V. tricolor. All of the different hybrids are just called pansies - and a lot of times are called Viola tricolor.

The red types could be decedent's of a species that didn't pair up well in terms of chromosome counts.

V. tricolor and pansies / hybrids are mostly all from European  / Asian species from what I have read. Viola species can hybridize easily within clades, hard to tell them apart.

V. sororia has hybrids with other North American viola species, mutant types with more petals etc.

I think I have V.odorata and V. sororia. One of them prefers the woods, the other is mostly in the lawn. They look very similar, could have hybridized / intermixed.

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #5 on: 2021-05-14, 02:53:41 PM »
Well there's an easy way to tell if you have odorata; smell them. Odorata is the scented violet. Sororia has no scent.

I suppose your gene guess could be right, but bigger red ones seem to have no problem with seed production. Maybe there's something in the gene for smaller plants that makes for a bad interaction with the red genes.

I know how hybridized some of them can be. A few years ago I saved seed from my BlackBerry Sorbet violas and re planted them, only about 10-15% stayed with the Blackberry Sorbet color pattern (purple bib black laterals) the rest either went all purple or reverted to the wild type Johnny Jump up colors. 


Garrett Schantz

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #6 on: 2021-05-15, 07:58:10 PM »
Thanks for whoever moved this to its own thread, didn't realize how many posts there were about violets. Will be posting more violets of interest through the rest of spring - fall.

reed

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #7 on: 2021-05-16, 12:31:22 AM »
I love violets but know little about them as far as the different species and types go. I don't or at least haven't yet tried breeding them, I just collect up interesting ones I see and bring them home. I have lots but they aren't as easy to establish in solid patches here as they were at my old house in town. Down there I had a part of the yard under a large oak tree that was nothing but violets including a lot of pure white ones. I don't have as many white ones here but I do have the white with blue streaks.

I have two other flowers, dame's rocket and wild asters that seem to share a similar color palette ranging from dark purple or blue to white, with pure white in any of them is rare, maybe it is very recessive. 

The color genes in these plants must also be quantitively expressed to produce the range of colors rather than one or the other? 

We also have a white or yellowish type that grows mostly in shady and wooded areas, they plants are a little taller and leaves smaller, I've never been successful in transplanting them.  Mine all look about like those in your pictures and come in a range of color. I've often wondered if they might be adapted to growing as a house plant.

Don't have much else to add except please keep posting your pictures and information about them.
« Last Edit: 2021-05-16, 12:47:34 AM by reed »

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #8 on: 2021-05-16, 02:12:01 AM »
Found a few websites that have some species.

https://www.everwilde.com/search.html?q=viola

V. corsica - A mediterranean species found on an island. Supposedly forms colonies (a lot of violets do) and should be heat resistant.

V. tricolor / Viola wittrockiana - Both of these listings are Pansy types

V. pedata - Out of stock, North American species

V. pedatifida - Also out of stock / North American species.


https://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/search_for_item?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=viola
These would require a Small lots of seed permit for people in the U.S. - they don't do Phytosanitary certificates. Violas can be invasive, unsure if they would be accepted.

Types from Europe or Asia:

V. hybrida 'Rose Shades' - Red / Fragrant
V. altaica
V. cornuta
V. dubyana
V. elatior
V. jooi
V. mandshurica Fl. Pl. - Double flowered
V. mandshurica 'Fuji Dawn' - Variegated leaves
V. papuanum - From Papua New Guinea, may not be cold hardy
V. tenuis - From Brazil, may not be cold hardy
V. philippica
V. portalesia - From Chile, worth attempting crosses with North American species
V. selkirkii - Found in North America

Large selection of Viola species. Quite nice...


https://www.prairiemoon.com/search.html?Search=viola
These are all North American species, some are out of stock.

V. cucullata
V. novae-angliae
V. nuttallii - Yellow violet
V. pubescens var. eriocarpa - Another yellow type
V. pedata
V. pedatifida
V. striata
V. sororia
V. sororia f. rubra - Pink form
V. sororia f. priceana - Confederate violet

A lot of these are only sold as bare-root plants. The bare root plants won't be available again until next year I am assuming. V. sororia f. rubra still has some bare-root types in stock.


These are just some sources for seed as they are annoying to find. If anyone does get ahold of some of the European / Asian type, try and make sure that they don't spread out of control or make colonies. Violas naturalize quickly and easily.

There are also some cultivars of these wild species.

North American types seem to cross freely. Violets are all over the lawn, woods here (Pretty much evenly distributed between dandelions and violets - bees love it). If I just let introduced types "naturalize", they will probably just get absorbed into the regular types and look almost identical. So I will probably need to actively select / cull their offspring.

This is also why I am preferring the native species - they will get absorbed into the regional variant here if they get out of control.
Species from Europe, Asia, etc - may not be able to hybridize and create colonies of competing plants. There is also the risk that if they do manage to hybridize, they will be more vigorous than either parent. They are already hyper vigorous enough here.








 

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #9 on: 2021-05-16, 08:01:54 AM »
Particularly Viola arvensis, the field pansy. That is a weed even here, though as far as I can see, not a particularly troublesome one (I actually used to sow it, because I liked the little cream flowers)

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #10 on: 2021-05-16, 09:01:17 PM »
Don't forget Parma violets, (V. odorata Duchess de Parme) and good luck with getting them to grow.  I try every decade or so, and I have one that has lived two years, but diminished from the size it was when I bought it.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #11 on: 2021-05-16, 10:00:53 PM »
Rebecca violets (V. tricolor) look nice. They apparently smell / taste like vanilla as well.

Might try a bunch of V. odorata types eventually. Duchess de Parme sounds nice.

Maybe I could try making some things using the flowers of these species...

reed

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #12 on: 2021-05-17, 07:19:54 AM »
Based on the descriptions you all provided and some internet searching I'm sure mine are about all the Sororia type as they have no scent. I found some of that species on E-bay and other places with various names but I'm pretty sure the same species. Apparently different color combinations such as in this one, https://www.ebay.com/itm/184513497980?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-213727-13078-0&mkcid=2&itemid=184513497980&targetid=4580634170587483&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=410490110&mkgroupid=1232552761418727&rlsatarget=pla-4580634170587483&abcId=9300491&merchantid=51291&msclkid=982e827cf7f1180a1872e2de90f487bd are named.

Based on my experience,  I think all those different colors combinations show up anyway if you have both the dark color and the white ones growing together.

Those Odorata sound really interesting since they are scented, wouldn't mind getting some to mix in with mine. I do wonder since they look pretty much exactly the same if they are really a different species or if the scent is just another variable trait.




Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #13 on: 2021-05-17, 07:31:01 AM »
Unfortunately, you and I are a little cold for odoroata (there are a few types that are marginal to us, but most like it warmer.

reed

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Re: Viola Breeding
« Reply #14 on: 2021-05-17, 09:51:21 AM »
Unfortunately, you and I are a little cold for odoroata (there are a few types that are marginal to us, but most like it warmer.
You mean even for me in SE Indiana, or did you mean Diane up in the north west?