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Viola ‘Dancing Geisha’ – Favorite Plant

Violets are darling little plants for the spring garden, but some are little devils that seed all over the place and become a weed. Viola ‘Dancing Geisha’ is not a devil. I find no seedlings in my garden.

Viola Dancing Geisha

Viola Dancing Geisha, photo by Robert Pavlis

Viola ‘Dancing Geisha’

This Japanese violet has foliage unlike any other violet. The plant forms nice tight clumps that are showy all summer long. The leaves are maple-shaped with streaks of green, pewter and silver. The flowers are larger and rounder in shape than most North American violets. All of the flowers open at the same time providing an exceptional pinkish display.

This is a small plant that makes a great edging in a perennial bed or a great addition to the rock garden.

viola dancing geisha

Viola ‘dancing geisha’, photo by Robert Pavlis

Viola  ‘Dancing Geisha’ ; photo by Robert Pavlis

Dancing Geisha, also known as the Fanleaf Violet, is an inter-specific hybrid. The Japanese have been breeding violets for a long time and I suspect this plant is a result of that work. I found no reference for the actual parents of this clone.

General information:

Name Pronunciation: vy-OH-la

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 15 cm (6 inches)

Bloom Time: spring

Natural Range: probably Japan or China

Habitat: unknown

Synonyms: none


Light: part shade to full shade

Soil: not fussy, but prefers humus rich soil

Water: average moisture

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 9

Propagation: division

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Robert Pavlis
Editor of
I live in southern Ontario, Canada, zone 5 and have been gardening a long time. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

I hope you find Garden Myths an educational site that helps you understand your garden better.

2 Responses to 'Viola ‘Dancing Geisha’ – Favorite Plant'

  1. Shirley says:

    I can’t get mine to bloom. What should I do?

    • Without any information, I can’t really say. I grow mine in a fairly wet site–it never dries out, in zone 5. It gets no direct light and might even be considered full shade for part of the day. I’ve never tried growing it in any other location.