A Bavarian Violet?

This fabulous warm spell lasted all week, and two days ago the first violets were spotted at the bottom of the garden…

FirstViolets

I grow several different types of Violas in the garden beds, which mostly flower a little later. These are in the lawn and must be wild dog violets, Viola riviniana, as they don’t smell like Sweet Violets, Viola odorata.

FirstViolets2

…or are they? They do look so much like sweet violets.

I had a look at various sites on the internet and found that apparently dog violets hybridise with another darker viola (Viola reichenbachiana), which results in the Viola bavarica. A Bavarian violet! How lovely!

They are all very similar (to my eye at least), but the Bavarian one has a pale violet-coloured spur, whereas V. riviniana has a white spur and V. reichenbachiana a dark violet one. I’d like to think I have a Bavarian violet in my garden, as it would be fitting, but on taking a closer look mine still resemble Viola odorata most of all.

FirstViolets3

So why do they smell only very faintly? Any violet experts out there?!

Do you see wild violets near your home?

By the way, looking back at past spring photos I can say we are a full month ahead of last year, bloom-wise, if not more. And one or two weeks ahead of 2012 too!

😀