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Zapala, Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, Nequen, Argentina.
Origin and Habitat: Argentina (Mendoza, Neuquen) and adjacent areas in Chile.
Type locality: Zapala to Palau Mahuida, Argentina.
Altitude range: 500-2000 metres above sea level.
Habitat: Viola tectiflora grows plentiful in volcanic sand . This species is well adapted to blended in with the sand and rock where it grows between the grassy tussocks. The colour of the leaves and of the sand is very similar, and the small rosettes are very difficult to spot, this could be an adaptation to herbivores. The steppe flora here is rich and interesting with a number of local endemics comprising several species of Pterocactus .
- Viola tectiflora W.Becker
Description: Viola tectiflora W.Becker [family VIOLACEAE] is a most curious soft leaved rosulate annual herb.
Rosettes: About 4-4.5 cm across.
Leaves: Purplish brown quite hiding all flowers and fruits, lifted upwards rather than lying flat. Purple oil glands are present on the leaves to attract ants for pollination.
Flowers: White tinged lilac not dissimilar to those of Viola volcanica, but with longer stems.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Rossow, R. A. 1988. Violaceae, en M. N. Correa (ed.), "Flora Patagónica." Colecc. Ci. Inst. Nac. Tecnol. Agropecu. 8 (5): 170-189.
2) Xifreda, C. C. & A. M. Sanso. 1999. Violaceae, en F. O. Zuloaga & O. Morrone (eds.). "Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares de la República Argentina. II. Dicotyledoneae." Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 74: 1170-1177, 1246.
Zapala, Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, Nequen, Argentina. Photo by: Carolina González
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Cultivation and Propagation: These plants are often intractable in cultivation and often seemingly impossible to propagate. It is not easy to get seed of these plants.
Hardiness: USDA Hardiness Zone 7, even 6b. The plant tolerates low temperatures (-15° C even -20° C).
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