Non-cleistogmous Viola species?

membertom(zone 6)October 25, 2005

Viola pedata reportedly does not produce any cleistogamous flowers. Also, species in Section Melanium (the pansies) are characterized by the absence of cleistogamous flowers. Are there any Viola species, other than these, that do not produce cleistogamous flowers?

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etii(France 8)

Hi !
Well well well...all violets I know are making cleistogamous flowers. Some hybrids don't make any 'cause they are sterile (I think "Mars" is a good example and such a fantastic useless violet: no blooms too). Some cultivars are making a few (Baronne de Rotschild, la France...).
I don't know about pedata...are you sure ? Are seeds only the result of a pollenized flower ?! Sounds so strange for a violet...ROB, you're the king of violets, HELP lol :-)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 5:13PM
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stefanb8(z7 MD)

I don't recall any such thing being borne by Viola canadensis - perhaps none of the stemmed Viola species produce them, though I certainly don't know.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 7:50PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)


interesting train of observation and thought here!
i have flowers on the uncommon australian violet viola caleyana.....i will take more notice as it's season ends.

(i might perhaps be a knight of the violet! i can think of others who might be king...and we ALL know who is the queen! :) )


    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 5:02AM
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membertom(zone 6)

Thanks for the help guys.

Thierry, I haven't kept Viola pedata alive for long enough to see any blooms at all. But, descriptions of it, say that it doesn't produce cleistogamous ones. And although I've noticed that pansy (species) flower size and form usually does change with the season, I haven't yet seen totally cleistogamous flowers on any pansy.

Stefan, I thought I saw mention of Viola canadensis and absence of cleistogamous flowers somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it again. I don't have it to see for myself. I do have Viola striata, a stemmed cream-white, and I haven't looked really close, but I'm pretty sure that it makes cleistogamous flowers during the summer. Same for Viola pubescens, a stemmed yellow.

Rob, I was especially wondering about all those mysterious [to me] Australian violets. I once grew a fairly common trailing one, I think it was labeled Viola hederacea. This is probably not it's currently accepted name, since the taxonomy is ever-changing. Anyway, it had white flowers with a dark purple center. I don't recall ever seeing cleistogamous flowers on that one, although I'm sure growing conditions here are very different from it's native environment. I also (for a short while) had a similar blue flowered form that didn't trail as vigorously. I don't recall any cleistogamous flowers on that one either.

I'll explain a little about the main reason for my curiousity about non-cleistogamous species. I'm thinking from a hybridizer's point of view. And thinking that a violet like Viola sororia, is essentially everblooming. It only seems to be a spring-flowering plant because the summer cleistogamous flowers are not showy (hardly even noticed at all). If a violet like this could be persuaded to convert its cleistogamous flowers to chasmogamous ones, it would be a much more useful/valuable garden flower -- flowering all throughout the growing season.
Thanks to all, again, for the discussion.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 9:17AM
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etii(France 8)

Well...Finaly, the train seems to be: what is the difference between a violet and a pansy, isn't it ?!
Violet: cleistogamous flowers and stolons: do you see something more ?

Tom: it was surely hederacea :-) Mine doesn't make cleistogamous but it makes so many stolons, what would be the use to make any ?!
Stefan: stemmed violet are making cleistogamous: viola elatior does here :-) Maybe some does not - which ones ?
About pedata: it should come from holland in a few days (can't hardly wait !!!!). Hope I won't kill it lol ! (my best record is 1 month living with hederacea "baby blue": some blooms, seeds and then she said good bye without either a reason nor ever a thank U ;-) and of course before she had finished making mature seeds :'( !!!)
Viola canadensis: she's so much faced like a pansy...
You're right about sororia Tom :-) The one who will find the thing that order cleistogamous instead of chasmogamous and would be able to change that will be famous :-) Is it concerning a chimical message like hormones ?

By the way Rob: the queen is in Spain...she had a thrill about loosing head lol - she gonna kill me ;-)

Don't stop the subject, come one, let's going on :-)
All the best

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 5:44PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

possibly shoould be a new posting here, but....

the common clone of v. hedearacea is unusual in several ways. it has recently been re-classified as v. banksii. it is a coastal n.s.w species and forms no hybrids with true hereracea where these species co-exist. the particular clone in circualtion seems to produce no seed at all. on the sydney beaches foreshores, v. banksii can be found and does produce seed in green pods. baby blue may be herderacea but i suspect it was wild collected many years ago and is a realted species in the 'hederacea complex'. i did once hear that it was in nth n.s.w. a clone called putty road is likely the best form of true hederacea which has been circulated. the season for this species is just arriving here....i hope to collect a few nice clones to try them as horticultural plants.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:04AM
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membertom(zone 6)

Rob et al,
For what it's worth... since Viola banksii (formerly hederacea) never sets any seeds on its own for me, I tried pollinating it with several different Viola pollen donors. I never did get any seeds, but Viola odorata pollen did make the un-enlarged pods hold on for a very long time (compared to the unpollinated flowers). Also, I noticed a similarity in scent between Viola odorata and (much weaker) Viola banksii.
You mentioned that Viola banksii does make seed on the Sydney beaches foreshores. Maybe the clone in cultivation is self-incompatible and would set seed if pollinated by another Viola banksii clone??

Good luck with your collections.
And good luck Thierry, with Viola pedata.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 7:42AM
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etii(France 8)

Viola odorata a similarity in scent with hederacea (rob: should we call it viola banksii "hederacea" now ?) ? Well, it's so gorgeous that it's having a strange effect on the brain ;-) That's powerful !!!
You're lucky Tom, except odorata and parmas, I've never found a scent of any kind with other violets :-( Sure, I smoke too much and don't have a very developed sense of smell but...well, only European violets are supposed to be perfumed :-ppppp
Anyway Tom, go on trying and making crosses :-)))
Somone knows the result of odorata X sororia: I can't wait until my seeds germinate ! A monster hairied sororia making stolons ? ;-))

Only the best :-)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:37AM
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denisd_31(France 8)

" Somone knows the result of odorata X sororia: I can't wait until my seeds germinate ! "

'Mrs Pinehurst' is an hybrid resulting of odorata and sororia.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 2:49AM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

mr tabuchi notes the chromosone count for v. banksii (hederacea) as doesnt seem a very friendly number to work with!

thierry, banksii and hederacea are now different species in the section erpetion. there are several other species in this group, too. various sizes and climatic zones. do you remember v. fuscoviolacea? it's in the same group.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 4:21AM
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membertom(zone 6)

My nose is not the strongest either. I cheat... by making a posie of many flowers, I sometimes can smell scents in other violets (than odorata or Parma). Viola sororia (purple) has never had a scent for me, but Viola sororia 'Priceana' (white w/purple eye) has a fairly reliable, though not strong, "honeysuckle" scent. Viola canadensis has a similar scent. And I was very surprised after many years of thinking Viola striata had no scent, to find that in the evening you can smell a scent from a large posie of it. It smells like white clover blossoms. But none of these is as nearly as powerful as Viola odorata or has the quality of a Parma.
Oh I forgot one... Viola dissecta chaeriophylloides (sp?) - the Asian crow-footed violet has strong sweet scented white flowers. I wish it were happier to grow here.

Denis, I've unsuccessfully tried multiple times to recreate odorata X sororia. There must be some trick, that I don't know. I'll have to keep trying.

Rob, Thanks for the chromosome count of V.banksii. Actually, I think that 54 is a very interesting number -- that's the same as Viola sororia and kin. Maybe I should have been concentrating on trying crosses of banksii with sororia.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 7:33AM
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Hey folks!
that's not fair! I'm out for several days and so much things happen on this forum!! lol
Well Tom... your observation on cleistogamous flowers or not is very interesting. I guess that the subject is very "deep"...There must be something to investigate...Sure that we can find in all the violet world the whole range of flowers from totally chasmogamous to totally cleistogamous (!?). I have Viola canadensis..The seed pod comes immediately after the chasmogamous flowers...and yes..can't say I ever saw seed pod out of the chasmogamous flowering period...All this being very short..But Viola riviniana can make cleistogamous flowers althought it has stems perhaps this is not something to link to the "stem or stemless " characteritic? So exciting! Actually I'm not able right now to share more experiences but now that this question is asked, I'll make closers observations on the plants I grow and will check my books and papers!! Keep you informed! :-)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 9:43AM
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Mike Hardman(Cyprus, 100m altitude)

I'm a bit patchy in my visits to this fine forum these days; sorry about that; must try harder, eh?

From a look through Viola Brainerd Baird, 1942...

She reckons V. canadensis and V. rugulosa both have reduced petalled flowers later in the season, but only V. rugulosa actually goes as far as having cleistogamous flowers/pods. It is a while since I have grown canadensis, so can't confirm.

V. pedunculata, beckwithii, trinervata, hallii and douglasii do not have cleisto flowers/pods.

V. tripartita - hmmm - might not have them. Klaber does not mention them, either.

What about the S. American rosulates (Section Andinium)?
Geez - I just realized I have no idea if they have cleisto flowers!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 3:35PM
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stefanb8(z7 MD)

Very interesting... so it's not just a stemmed violet thing. I'm certain Viola canadensis never has cleistogamous flowers for me, but mine also blooms chasmogamously almost throughout the season back home in Minnesota (heaviest in spring during its long bloom season, but often a flower or two here and there all summer long as the stems keep getting longer and longer). The flowers do have a bit of a face! But the leaves are distinctly shaped like a heart, nothing pansy about them, and big too ;-) I have also observed a very light, rosey scent in its flowers on occasion.

My other scented American violet (since the conversation was drifting that way) is V. blanda (at least, I think it's V. blanda and not macloskeyi, but I could be wrong). Its fragrance is strong and sweet, like clover blossom and banana and honey, but the flowers are so small that it really helps to make a tiny bundle out of them before sniffing. Even such a small posie of maybe 7 or 9 flowers is only an inch or so across, but that bundle can easily compete with any European violets for potency. Unfortunately such small blossoms make it hard to breed with, and it seems to be incompatible with odorata types anyway.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 9:58AM
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etii(France 8)

My european and French nose will taste viola Macloskeyi Stefan ! I have it for a short time. If it's not perfumed, I'll kick your little A-- Stefan ;-) Beware ;-)

Take care :-)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 4:39PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

this is a hot topic!

i can report that viola cotyledon, a rosulate violet, does produce cleistogamous pods. ray brown from plant world in torbay had/has it. i subscribed to an expedition years ago and had some seed. ray said he grew the plant easily, but that it produced only seed pods, no flowers for him. my seed never came up, sorry to say!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:17PM
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Mike Hardman(Cyprus, 100m altitude)

...ditto for my seed ov V. cotyledon :(

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 2:13PM
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