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Campanula or viola

Evening all. Im curious to know what you think these plants are? Could they be campanula or viola? 


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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    edited December 2020
    Top two photographs, most likely Campanulas. The bottom photo looks like Sweet Violet, Viola Odorata.
  • Top two photographs, most likely Campanulas. The bottom photo looks like Sweet Violet, Viola Odorata.
    Thanks borderline. May I ask how you know the difference? Without the flowers the leaves look very similar in shape and are both toothed
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Not really scientific, since I have had both types of plants in previous gardens. Ground covering Campanulas have a more uneven tooth edge compared with Violas. Also, Violas tend to have an almost neat scalloped edge, if that makes sense!
  • With regards to the campanula, do you mean that the teeth are varied, they’re not all the same? 

    Viola’s teeth edge all look the exact same. Is that what you meant by scalloped? 

    I’m asking this as I’m studying the RHS level 2 although I’m trying to build up my plant ID skills as well aside from the RHS course :)
  • I reckon the campanula leaves are lighter green, and some are longer than the viola's, which are more regular in shape.  Viola leaves are a bit shinier too, and - somehow - neater...
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Yes, when I mentioned scalloped, it's a uniform neat almost rounded (but not always) edge. Whereas Campanulas tend to be irregular, in my opinion.

    To be honest, it comes to you over time when you watch all types of plants grow. I like studying how every plant grows, in different conditions, stages and different soils. This can also make them grow differently. Good luck with your RHS Level 2!
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