Viola banksii – Native Violet


A hardy and useful spreading ground cover for shady areas with charming small white flowers with purple markings. It has heart shaped mid green leaves. It spreads by underground runners, and can cover large areas if the conditions suit it. It does best in moist soil that has some organic matter, but will tolerate a wide range of situations. Though harder growing conditions can lead to a less lush appearance or even what looks to be die back, the plant can survive because of the underground runners, and pop back into life once conditions are better. Propagation is simple, dig up a section of plant with roots attached and replant where you want them. The original plant will regrow. It can be used for a lawn substitute if it doesn’t get much foot traffic and if it gets regular care. It has been realised that the plant commonly grown as Viola hederaceae is actually the original Viola banksii plant collected and named by Joseph Banks in 1770 at Botany Bay, which is more eye catching than the less common Viola hederacea.

Scientific Name:Viola banksii
Common Name:Native Violet
Plant Type:Ground cover, Clumping perennial
Height:0.2 ~ 0.4 metres
Width:0.3 ~ 2 metres
Flower Colour:White, Purple, Mauve
Flowering Time:All year
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Type:Clay, Loamy, Sandy loam, Clay loam, Potting mix, Poor soil
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden, Courtyard, Poolside, Container growing, Cottage garden, Flower garden, Coastal garden
Climate Zone:Sub-tropical, Warm temperate, Cool temperate, Mediterranean
Light:Light shade, Half shade, Heavy shade
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Spreading
Soil Moisture:Well-drained, Moist moderate drainage, Boggy poorly drained
Propagation Method:Division
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Plant Usage:Groundcover, Border plant, Lawn alternative
Special Features:Bog gardens, Playground friendly

The information provided on the Gardening With Angus website is provided for general educational purposes about a variety of Australian plants. We recommend you seek further advice from qualified professionals regarding your own individual circumstances.  Further disclaimer information>>


Once you have found the plant that looks right for you, the next step is where to buy it.
Most nurseries stock a good range of plants, but due to space and supplies, they may not always have the plant that you are searching for in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you if you request it.
Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you have planned on, they can often suggest alternatives that will also work well for you.
Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


IndigiGrow- Sydney- NSW


Harvest Seeds And Native Plant Nursery – Sydney – NSW


Native Grace Nursery – Robertson NSW


Wariapendi Nursery – Colo Vale NSW


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Geelong Native Plants – Victoria


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Forest Heart eco-Nursery – Maleny Queensland


Natives R Us – Traveston – Queensland 


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia




The Native Shop – mail order


Plants In A Box




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.