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Scientific classification Kingdom: (unranked): (unranked): (unranked): Order: Family: Genus: Plantae Angiosperms Eudicots Rosids Malpighiales Violaceae Viola Species List of Viola species Viola (US /vaɪˈoʊlə/ and UK /ˈvaɪ.ələ/) is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the species.
Viola typically have heart-shaped, scalloped leaves, though a number have palmate leaves or other shapes. The vast majority of Viola species are herbaceous, and a substantial number are acaulescent in habit - meaning they lack any noticeable stems and the foliage and flowers appear to rise from the ground; the remaining species have short stems with foliage and flowers produced in the axils of the leaves. The simple leaves of plants with either habit are arranged alternately; the acaulescent species produce basal rosettes. Plants always have leaves with stipules that are often leaf-like.
and in some species the sepals enlarge after blooming. yellow. Flowering is often profuse. for example. often blue and yellow. showing the seeds Viola cultivar showing the large round flowers and the novel coloration that has been achieved through breeding. Viola are most often spring blooming with chasmogamous flowers with well-developed petals pollinated by insects.. lobed lower petal pointing downward. through various shades of blue. which has three placentae. which temporarily desensitises the receptors of the nose. along with terpenes.Viola papilionacea). thus preventing any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover. some species have a "spur" on the end of each petal while most have a spur on the lower petal. One quirk of some Viola is the elusive scent of their flowers. The flowers have a superior ovary with one cell. The flower styles are thickened near the top and the stigmas are head-like. On drying. fruit capsules are produced that split open by way of three valves. the capsules may eject seeds with considerable force to distances of several meters. and may last for much of the spring and summer. ranging from violet. narrowed or often beaked. After flowering. Many species also produce self-pollinated cleistogamous flowers in summer and autumn that do not open and lack petals. The flowers are formed from five petals. Solitary flowers end long stalks with a pair of bracteoles.Viola (plant) 2 The flowers of the vast majority of the species are zygomorphic with bilateral symmetry. The seeds of some species have elaiosomes and are dispersed by ants. The flowers have 5 sepals that persist after blooming.g. The shape of the petals and placement defines many species. four are upswept or fan-shaped petals with two per side. Opened seed capsule. The nutlike seeds have straight embryos. a major component of the scent is a ketone compound called ionone. . and cream. Flower colours vary in the genus. In some species the showy chasmogamous flowers are infertile (e. and there is one broad. containing many ovules. white. only the lower two stamens have nectary spurs that are inserted on the lowest petal into the spur or a pouch. whilst some types are bicolored. The flowers have five free stamens with short filaments that are oppressed against the ovary. and soft fleshy endosperm that is oily. flat cotyledons.
a group of scentless species which are the most common Viola in many areas. V. ivy-leaved violet Viola biflora yellow wood violet. lutea (mountain pansy). Viola betonicifolia and Viola banksii. twoflower violet Viola canina heath dog violet Viola cheiranthifolia Teide violet Viola corsica Corsican pansy • • • • Viola hederacea • Australian native violet. . tricolor (wild pansy or heartsease). V. heartsease Viola banksii • Australian native violet. and V. and many other species whose common name includes the word "violet". Illinois. altaica. White-and-purple form of Viola sororia • • • • • • • • • Viola arvensis field pansy • Viola odorata sweet violet Viola pedunculata yellow pansy Viola persicifolia fen violet Viola pubescens downy yellow violet Viola riviniana common dog violet Viola rostrata long-spurred violet Viola sororia common blue violet. Several species are known as pansies.Viola (plant) 3 Selected species See List of Viola species for a more complete list. including the yellow pansy (Viola pedunculata) of the Pacific coast. sweet violet (Viola odorata) (named from its sweet scent). ivy-leaved violet Viola hirta hairy violet Viola labradorica alpine violet • Note: Neither Saintpaulia ("African violets") nor Erythronium dens-canis ("dogtooth violets") are related to the true Viola. Common blue violet Viola sororia is the state flower of Wisconsin. Australia is home to a number of Viola species. The modern garden pansy (V. first collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on the Cook voyage to Botany Bay. including Viola hederacea. The genus includes dog violets. hooded violet Viola tricolor wild pansy. and New Jersey. × wittrockiana) is a plant of complex hybrid origin involving at least three species. Rhode Island.
 The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:• 'Aspasia' • 'Clementina' • 'Huntercombe Purple' • 'Moonlight' • 'Nellie Britton' Other popular examples include: • • • • • 'Ardross Gem' (viola) 'Blackjack' 'Buttercup' (violetta) 'Columbine' (viola) 'Dawn' (violetta) • • • • • 'Etain' (viola) 'Irish Molly' (viola) 'Jackanapes' (viola) 'Maggie Mott' (viola) 'Martin' (viola) • • • • 'Molly Sanderson' (viola) 'Rebecca' (violetta) 'Vita' (viola) 'Zoe' (violetta) Selection of cultivated Violas at the BBC Gardeners' World show. Pansies and violas used for bedding are generally raised from seed. Viola pedata. Viola cucullata. a weedkiller. Weed control Not all Viola are desired. Viola cultivars (including pansies) were one of the top three bedding plant crops and 111 million dollars worth of flats of Viola were produced for the bedding flower market. Violets thrive in the part/full shade and are not susceptible to most herbicides used to kill common lawn weeds. are commonly grown from seed. Perennial cultivars There are hundreds of perennial viola and violetta cultivars. Viola odorata. The bedding viola 'Juliette Blue. and F1 hybrid seed strains have been developed which produce compact plants of reasonably consistent flower colouring and appearance. in June 2011. many of these do not breed true from seed and therefore have to be propagated from cuttings. Others tolerate or welcome the presence of violets in lawns. pale wings' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. and Viola rotundifolia. Wild violets are regarded as a problem in shady fescue lawns in North America. Bedding plants are usually discarded after one growing season. . Triclopyr. Violettas can be distinguished from violas by the lack of ray markings on their petals. has been found to be an effective method of controlling wild violets in fescue lawns. Other species often grown include Viola labradorica. Bedding plants In 2005 in the United States.Viola (plant) 4 Horticultural uses Species and cultivars Cultivars of Viola cornuta. and wild violets are considered weeds in North American lawns by some people.
They are used as decorating or included in aromatic desserts. Ionone is present in the flowers. The heart-shaped leaves of V. fruit salads. which turns off the ability for humans to smell the fragrant compound for moments at a time. including uterotonic. A candied violet or crystallized violet is a flower. and similar desserts can be flavoured with essence of Viola flowers. has a distinct vanilla flavor with hints of wintergreen. The French are also known for their violet syrup. Large Yellow Underwing.Viola (plant) 5 Other uses Culinary When newly opened. and Setaceous Hebrew Character. . Viola canescens. and insecticidal activities. Viola flowers may be used to decorate salads or in stuffings for poultry or fish. Fourteen anthocyanins from V. and Parfait d'Amour. like grilled meats and steamed vegetables. one of the Violetta violets. a species from India. High Brown Fritillary. Alternatively. exhibited in vitro activity against Trypanosoma cruzi. where they are known as violettes de Toulouse. Creme de Violette. The pungent perfume of some varieties of V. Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Soufflés. France. anti-HIV. Viola essence flavours the liqueurs Creme Yvette. prionantha have been identified. Most violas tested and many other plants of the family Violaceae contain cyclotides. preserved by a coating of egg white and crystallised sugar. The young leaves are edible raw or cooked as a somewhat bland leaf vegetable. hot syrup is poured over the fresh flower (or the flower is immersed in the syrup) and stirred until the sugar recrystallizes and has dried. most commonly made from an extract of violets. Ecology Viola species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species. In the United States. Some anthocyanins show strong antioxidant activities. The flowers and leaves of the cultivar 'Rebecca'. It is also used in Parma Violets confectionery. odorata adds inimitable sweetness to desserts. which have a diverse range of in vitro biological activities when isolated from the plant. this French violet syrup is used to make violet scones and marshmallows. Perfume Viola odorata is used as a source for scents in the perfume industry. antimicrobial. and teas while the mild pea flavor of V. Candied violets are still made commercially in Toulouse. yedoensis and V. Violet is known to have a 'flirty' scent as its fragrance comes and goes. usually of Viola odorata. Pearl-bordered fritillary. odorata provide a free source of greens throughout a long growing season. This method is still used for rose petals and was applied to orange flowers in the past (when almonds or orange peel are treated this way they are called pralines). cream. Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. including the Giant Leopard Moth. tricolor combines equally well with sweet or savory foods. Medicinal Many Viola species contain antioxidants called anthocyanins.
nih. 88.. htm (Accessed 14 Oct 2008)  http:/ / www. a new species from Guangdong.itis.(‘’Viola papilionacea’’) (http:/ / www. Keil. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. New York: Columbia University Press. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http:/ / www. Agarwal DD. ISBN 0-609-60971-8 External links • Violaceae in Topwalks (http://www.americanvioletsociety. nih. (See page 208).Viola (plant) 6 References Notes  The pronunciation () is the most common one in US English.. (http:/ / www. The Oxford Companion to Food. (2009). (http:/ / www. Isolation and characterization of cytotoxic cyclotides from Viola tricolor. and David J.  Gerlach.  Ning. html)  Cullen. Dorling Kindersley (2008) ISBN 978-1-4053-3190-6 pp787–791  Zhang. php?f=384) . Co. a new species from Jiangxi. Dirk R.ca/specimens_types/template. 1981. 15 December 2010.  Trabi. com/ reference/ dictionary/ entry/ viola_2). Kaiser M. S. Alfred B.htm) • Violacae images at botanische-spaziergaenge.. Brun R. J. • Images of Japanese Viola (http://www. Jack.  Violet. edu/ EP327  http:/ / apps. (2012). A natural history of the senses.net/plants/generos/violaceae. ISBN 0-19-211579-0 3. americanvioletsociety. J. by Alan Davidson. voyageurcountry.botanische-spaziergaenge.  Zhou.  Rendle. Vascular plant taxonomy. 1967. the only pronunciation recorded by the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (http:/ / web. org. Isolation. and bioactivity of cyclotides from the Micronesian plant Psychotria leptothyrsa. ifas. uk/ plantselector/ plant?plantid=4300  RHS Plant Finder 2008-2009. Pages 1092-1102. com/ concise_oed/ viola_2?view=uk) is () but the only pronunciation recorded by the Oxford Dictionaries Online (http:/ / oxforddictionaries. (2010). Verma G. net/ PDF/ anb49-free/ anb49-383i. Z.com/art/index_sumireka. Common Blue . com/ dictionary/ viola). The classification of plants. com/ view/ entry/ m_en_gb0929430?rskey=EJI1qS& result=4#m_en_gb0929430) is (). Dubuque. S. ncbi.  David J. asp?Genus=Viola (Accessed 14 Oct 2008)  Walters. Arthur. Viola jinggangshanensis (Violaceae). gov/ pubmed/ 20575512) Journal of Natural Products 73(7) 1207-13. org/ PDF/ anb45-free/ anb45-233.org/Species_N_Cultivars/Pansy. Interestingly. et al.herbier. ncbi.  Sanders. Circular proteins from Melicytus (Violaceae) refine the conserved protein and gene architecture of cyclotides. 2001.. Print. et al. et al. et al. Clarkson Potter. Cambridge at the University Press. 1991. L. 2002) 2. gov/ pubmed/ 21523841) Phytochem Anal 23(1) 16-22. pdf) Annales Botanici Fennici 49(5) 383-86. Viola nanlingensis (Violaceae). org. nlm."Discovery and applications of the plant cyclotides" Toxicon Volume 56.at/viewforum. New York: Vintage Books. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. 2011 Apr 16. Vol. Guilford.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=22030) (Accessed December 2.ulaval. southern China. Rapid separation and identification of anthocyanins from flowers of Viola yedoensis and V. Craik.  Dua VK.topwalks. et al. characterization." J Ethnopharmacol. 198:8080/ bitstream/ 151853/ 4868/ 1/ 201202130060. II: Dicotyledons. pdf) Annales Botanici Fennici 45(3) 233-36.  Tang.  Cronquist. (http:/ / www. (http:/ / 210. Diane. Page 332. annbot.  http:/ / edis. yahoo. prionantha by high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection-electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry. Isotype.alpine-plants-jp. org/ Species_N_Cultivars/ Pansy.. com/ htmls/ floweringplants/ plants/ violetblue. (2008).htm) • Viola charlestonensis type sheet (http://www.usda. 2001. 1996. rhs. The secrets of wildflowers.). nlm.at (http://www. et al. India. 72. but US dictionaries also record (less common) use of () and (): American Heritage Dictionary (http:/ / education. nlm.  http:/ / www. Larousse Gastronomique. ufl.. sekj.  Ackerman."Antiprotozoal activities of traditional medicinal plants from the Garhwal region of North West Himalaya. (2010). merriam-webster. Issue 7. pdf) Peptides 31(8) 1434-40. archive. 2003. M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ITIS (http://www. holotype is at University of California). CT: The Globe Pequot Press. rhs. (http:/ / www. J. Handbook of North European garden plants with keys to families and genera. (See page 49). L. gov/ pubmed/ 19462049) Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry 7(11) 2378-88. External references 1.. (2011). org/ web/ 20070915234800/ http:/ / www. askoxford. Page 404. ncbi.htm) Flavon's art gallery • The American Violet Society (http://www. J. China. (http:/ / www. by Prosper Montagne (Ed. Page 345. nih.. uk/ RHSPlantFinder/ GenusClass.php?pid=0045456) from Louis-Marie herbarium (Laval University. Oxford University Press..
1914. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed. "Violets". The New Student's Reference Work. 7 .Viola (plant) • • "Violet".). 1911.
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