DESCRIPTION: Velvety black flowers are uniquely marked with rays of yellow and indigo blue radiating from a golden eye at the center of the flower, creating a vivid contrast and dramatic...
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DESCRIPTION: Velvety black flowers are uniquely marked with rays of yellow and indigo blue radiating from a golden eye at the center of the flower, creating a vivid contrast and dramatic effect; biennial in mild winters

BOTANICAL NAME: Viola cornuta 'Bowles Black'
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 20 cm
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 25 cm
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to partial shade
FLOWER COLOUR: Dark purple to black with white and yellow centre
FLOWERING TIME: Mid spring to early fall
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Green
COLD HARDINESS: Zone 4 ( Should survive up to -34.4° Celsius ) - Requires sheltered location
WATER NEEDS: Average
OTHER FEATURES: Attracts Butterflies, Border

Ornamental Features

Bowles Black Pansy has masses of beautiful black flowers with deep purple overtones, gold eyes and indigo streaks at the ends of the stems from early spring to late fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its serrated round leaves remain dark green in colour throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Bowles Black Pansy is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration:

  • Self-Seeding

Bowles Black Pansy is recommended for the following landscape applications:

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Bowles Black Pansy will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity extending to 6 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 6 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 5 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and tends to be biennial, meaning that it puts on vegetative growth the first year, flowers the second, and then dies. However, this species tends to self-seed and will thereby endure for years in the garden if allowed.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. 

Bowles Black Pansy is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. 

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