Viola is a genus of over 500 species in the family Violaceae. They can be found all over the world, but most of them are in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere.
Violas are one of the most popular flowers, well known for their charming fragrant blooms and heart shaped leaves. They are suitable for the front of borders and beds, as well as in containers.
English name “Violet” is derived from the Latin “viola”, which means “violet flower” or “violet color”.
In the Middle Ages, Monks called them the “Herb of the Trinity” because of their three primary colors – purple, yellow and green.
Violet symbolizes innocence, modesty and true, everlasting love.
It can also symbolize faith, spirituality, mysticism and remembrance.
In Christianity, Violet symbolizes the Virgin Mary’s humility.
It is believed that these flowers blossomed when the angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be her baby.
Interesting facts about Viola:
Pansy (Viola tricolor)
Viola tricolor, also known as Pansy, is one of the most popular species in the genus, native to Eurasia.
Pansies are popular ornamentals due to their showy multicolored flowers. They are annuals or short-lived perennials.
This beautiful flower has inspired many artists throughout history. It is one of the plants that William Shakespeare referenced in his plays.
Benefits and Uses
Violets had many uses throughout the history.
Greeks and Romans used Violets at funerals, while Persians used them to calm anger and to heal headache.
In Ancient Rome, they made wine from violet flowers and wine was so popular and wanted. Romans believed that the violet flowers could prevent drunkenness.
These plants are medicinal. They contain antioxidants and are good as diuretic and anti-inflammatory. It’s also worth to mention that Viola is rich in vitamin C.
The plant is sometimes used as a laxative for infants and children. Violet tea has been used as a headache remedy.
Violets are often used in the perfume industry.
“Roget et Gallet Vera Violetta” was the first modern Violet perfume, dates back in 1895.
In culinary, Violas are used to decorate salads. but some species can also be cooked.
They are considered a leafy vegetable and may be an underrated food resource.
Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs
As their name suggests, many species are violet in color, but can also be blue, white, yellow and cream. Some blooms have two or even three colors.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
Violas are small plants up to 20 cm (8 inches) tall.