“Even if fall she must, it was to lie on the earth and moulder sweetly into the roots of violets.” ― Virginia Woolf, The Lady in the Looking Glass
Member of the Violaceae family, most often used medicinal varieties:
Common Blue - Viola Sororia Sweet Violet - Viola Odorata
Sweet I Bland I Cooling I Moistening
Mucilage I Vitamin C I Vitamin A I Flavonoids I Saponins I Minerals I Volatile Oils
Emollient I Demulcent I Vulnerary I Antiseptic I Expectorant Nutritive I Dissolvent I Laxative I Lymphagogue
Doctrine of Signatures suggest heart and pelvic medicine.
Strengthens and comforts the heart, relieves pain in the heart, love potions
Sore throats, cough, brings up phlegm, suitable for children Stomachache, constipation, suitable for children Supports youthful skin, gentle astringent
Headaches especially from lack of sleep, restlessness and overthinking
Relives pressure in head especially from hangovers and ancient Romans wore garlands to protect from intoxication
Slight sedative for anxiety and insomnia
Affinity for breasts, lumps, cysts, growths, inflammation, sore nipples, clogged ducts, soreness due to PMS
Sore or inflamed eyes, conjunctivitis
Stomachache, constipation, suitable for children Chest congestion, dry coughs, whooping cough, inflamed throat, dry asthma, tonsillitis
Inflamed gums, painful sores
Any dry, hot skin condition, burns, boils, sores, warts, wounds, pimples, bites, growths including cancers due to high salicylic acid
Call on its flower essence for confidence and comfort in group settings
Fables & Folklore
“You are the only person who loves me in the world," said Elizabeth. "When you talk to me I smell violets.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars
The mythical creation of Violet is told in many varieties. At the core, a nymph (Io) was turned to a white heifer by her lover (Zeus, Jupiter) to protect her from his jealous wife (Hera/Juno) and Violets were created for her to graze on.
Persephone was picking Violets when Hades kidnapped her to live with him in the Underworld
Ruled by Venus and sacred to Taurus, its element is water.
Violet has been revered throughout history The flower of Aphrodite
Symbol of Athens
Sacred to the Fairy Queen
Favorite of Queen Victoria
Emblem of Imperial Napoleonic party
In floriography, or Victorian Language of Flowers, Violet signifies faithfulness
Violet is for faithfulness
Which in me shall abide
Hoping likewise that from your heart,
You will not let it slide
Symbolism includes simplicity, serenity, peace and good fortune
To dream of Violet predicts prosperity
Hung outside your door, Violet offers blessings on all who enter
Associated with death, especially that of the young, Violets were planted at graves of children
"Lay here i' th' earth, And from her fair and unpolluted fresh, may violets spring" Shakespeare
State flowers for Rhode Island, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Illinois
Violet is the birth flower for February Violets are God's apology for February -Barbara Johnson
Forage I Harvest I Make
"Violets bloom out of sheer exuberance"
Native to Europe, there are 70 species growing wild in North America and one variety present in all 50 states.
Hardy to zone 5
Violet is most happy in rich, moist soil on shady lanes or the edge of woodlands, but it will grow very easily on lawns and in direct sunlight.
Violet is a "cleistogamous" plant, or self fertilizing, and a hearty self seeder.
The blooms we harvest are not technically flowers as they bear no seeds. Therefore, harvest to your heart's content, keeping pollinators in mind. Later in the season green flowers bloom below the foliage and are generally not observed by passersby.
A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent--sweet, not lasting; The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more. Shakespeare
Flowers Harvest: in spring in full bloom Make: syrup, scented sugar, jelly, jam, honey, steeped oil, tincture, tea, decoration, candy, steeped wine, cosmetics, perfume
Leaves Harvest: spring through early fall when vibrant green and fresh, avoid thick, tough leaves Make: replacing any green raw or cooked, salad, soups, steeped oil, tincture, tea Roots toxic in large doses