|Viola walteri 'Silver Gem'|
The Viola is similar in height to Cyclamen purpurascens, a cute little European number with shiny leaves and a hardy constitution. The Cyclamen Society offers a good amount of information about this seldom-used plant. I can't remember what I read to make me search for Cyclamen purpurascens, but I found them offered through Edelweiss Perennials. I planted two beneath my huge boxwoods in very early spring and protected them with a chicken wire dome. The one with the fully-covered tuber formed the most leaves, while the other is just now forming tiny leaves. The Cyclamen Society recommends covering the tuber with about 1/2" of grit, as they require excellent drainage. I mounded the gritty soil around the tuber and will put a bit more at its top in a week or so, gradually bringing the soil level to the recommended depth.