... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chesapeake Series - Viola odorata

Here are four of the five Viola odorata hybrids that are part of our Chesapeake series. They began as a cross between the orange-sherbet-colored Viola odorata 'Sulfurea' and the dark purple, Viola odorata 'Clive Groves'. I'd tried quite a few varieties of Viola odorata and found that not many were as well adapted to growing here in Maryland as 'Sulfurea' was. 'Clive Groves' was one of the few that survived, so I set out to try combining the strong fragrance of 'Clive Groves' with the adaptedness of 'Sulphurea', and of course hoping for a variety of colors. The first generation (F1) were all well-scented, plain medium purples. But in the second generation (F2) all sorts of interesting variations have appeared. These four are my favorites so far. From left to right, they are:

dark purple - 'Chesapeake Royalty'
orange-eyed - 'Chesapeake Surprise'
apricot/lilac blend - 'Chesapeake Siren Song'
and icing white - 'Chesapeake Confection'

All of these are fairly fragrant.


  1. Those are gorgeous! I particularly like the middle two.

  2. Thanks Joseph! I sent all five (as pictures) to the International Violet competetion in Parma Italy a few years back and was thinking one of those two you mentioned might have best chances to win - I thought they were the most distinctive. But, surprising to me, the dark purple was the one the judges were most impressed with, and it got first place for new violets. You just never know what'll appeal most to other people, do ya.
    Thanks again, Tom.

  3. Oh lovely! I especially adore the apricot one... are these available anywhere?

  4. Thanks Katkoot!
    They're not available in commerce, but now that Joseph (from the comment above) is working at Arrowhead Alpines, maybe I can interest them in distributing them.
    I don't expect to make money off of them, but it scares me to be the only one growing them. I'm afraid a bad winter or neglectful season of weeding might be the end of them. If I can get some increase pieces ready next Spring I can probably send you a piece of that apricot one, 'Chesapeake Siren Song'.
    Don't post your mailing address here, but you can contact me off-blog by e-mail.

  5. I added an E-mail Me link to the blog. It's in the upper right of the page between the search box and the picture of the yellow polytepal daylily.

  6. Awesome! I just now saw this-- and sent you an e-mail