'Penny Orange' Tufted Pansy,
or Jump Up
"This pansy has a thinking face
Like the yellow moon."
There are several V. cornuta 'Penny' hybrids in different colors & bicolors. The ones that are yellow through deep orange provide the nicest contrast to the more common violet & purple varieties of violas. They're only 4-6 inches tall & though the spread can be a little aggressive during its short life, it's too small to crowd out any but the most delicate & tiniest of groundcovers.
The Penny hybrids have tidy & compact brightest green leaves that in Zone 8 are in full flourish from late winter until deep into autumn. They like a cool moist location in the garden with indirect lighting, & are good container plants as well. They bloom late winter & throughout spring, then quiet down in summer when they may need some pluck-thinning & pinching back in order to produce a second flourish of bloom in autumn. Surprisingly heat-tolerant if the soil never dries out, the foliage alone is a lovely summer presence.
The flowers of V. cornuta 'Penny Orange' are a mite larger than the majority of violas, lending it often to be called a Pansy. They are a pure unmarked deep yellow-orange, & cannot be confused for V. x williamsiona 'Penny Orange' which are bicolored, orange with burgundy "ears."
We planted four rapidly-growing seedlings early in March near the fully perennial & even halfway evergreen Labrador Violet. C. cornuta cultivars can also be started from seed right in the garden, sown immedately after last frost.
Last year the Labrador Violet had V. cornuta 'Rebecca' as its companion, but 'Rebecca' died out of the garden during the winter. Although the Horned Violas are defined as tender perennials or biennials, generally they behave as annuals.
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