Tuesday, August 13, 2013

V is for Violets

V is for Violets

Well, it seems I don't have any photos of my own of violets, either! That's too bad, and a little sad, since violets are so sweet, and one of my favorites.
When we talked about pansies awhile back, we learned that they and violets are related. Now I see it seems the names violet and viola are interchangeable.
Violets (Viola) are a genus of flowering plants in the family Violaceae, with around 400-500 species throughout the world, mainly in the temperate Northern Hemisphere but also in Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes in South America. They are typically found in moist and slightly shaded conditions such as hedgerows.

Most violets are small perennial plants, but a few are annual plants and some are small shrubs. They typically have heart-shaped leaves, and asymmetrical flowers with four upswept or fan-shaped petals, two each side, and one broad, lobed lower petal pointing downward. The shape of the petals defines many species, for example, some violets have a "spur" on the end of each petal. Flower colours vary in the genus; many are violet as their name suggests, and some are blue, some yellow, some white, some cream; some are bicolored, often blue and yellow. Flowering is often profuse, and may last for much of the spring and summer
. (Violets.com)(Wikipedia)
Sweet violets, violas, and pansies are annual or perennial flowers that are mostly grown for their beauty. The flowers and leaves are edible and can be used in a variety of dishes — not just for a garnish or to top a salad. Sweet violets (Viola odorata) can be candied or used in violet tea, violet cake, and violet syrup. While commonly added to salads, you can also use violet flowers to make vinegars, butters, spreads, and jellies. Sweet violet flowers are as beautiful as they are edible. Their white, pink, blue, or lavender blooms have a sweeter, more perfumed taste than the more colorful blooms of annual violas and pansies. Sweet violet leaves are slightly tart. (Edible Landscaping)

On the subject of Pansies, Violas and Violettas
The American Violet Society
African Violet Society of America

My mother has a few African Violets. I remember when I was a little girl, she had two or three tables of African Violets, under grow lights, in the basement of the house we lived in where we lived in Michigan. Someday I'd like to have some, or at least a couple, ourselves. I think my Botanist Boy would enjoy that, too.

Can you think of any other flowers or plants which begin with the letter "V"?
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