The benefits of violet

There are about 500 species of violets, but only the fragrant violet (Viola odorata) is edible and used in perfumery, aromatherapy and medicine. Here's everything you need to know about this bright flower.

The benefits of violet

History

People started growing violets on a large scale in the 19th century with the introduction of the sweet violet ( V. suavis ).

  • In France, entire villages were devoted to its cultivation, and it scented many cosmetic or oral hygiene products.
  • Major crops were in Toulouse, where there is a brotherhood of the Violet Violet is associated with the nobility, royal houses and emperors. Thus, Josephine, first wife of Napoleon I, loved the scent of violets.
  • The violet is sometimes called the March flower.

Gardening

  • The leaves and flowers are the usable parts.
  • You can perceive the scent of violets in the spring breeze long before seeing the flowers themselves.
  • Fragrant violets are resistant and easy to grow on the front of borders or under trees or evergreen shrubs.
  • The Parma violet is resistant to frost and delights in pots, raised beds or cold layers.
  • The perfume is extracted from the leaves (absolute violet) and buttons (essence or attar).

Varieties

There are different forms of fragrant violets, including the white variety ( 'Alba'), white and doubles ( "White Queen"), and pinks ( 'Rosea Group "). Here are a few varieties:

  • Those with large flowers on long stems, such as the "Princess of Wales"
  • Those within tense purple and fragrant flowers
  • Those with dark blue flowers, "blue Czar"
  • Those purple, early flowers, "Mrs. Pinehurst"
  • Those with pink-purple flowers, "Heart of Alsace"
  • Those with purplish red flowers, "Admiral Avellan"
  • Those with large double flowers, lavender, "Mamola of Udine"
  • Parma violets have shiny, heart-shaped leaves and large fragrant flowers in abundance.
  • The best varieties are "Comte de Brazza" with white flowers, "of Udine" with blue-purple flowers and "Duchess of Parma," with intense lavender flowers.

Location

  •  Violet needs a well-composted and humid soil.
  • Sunlight in winter promotes flowering.

Multiplication

  •  Detach new sprouts and plant them apart.

Care

  • Remember to cut the heads of varieties to prevent hybridization between plants.

Pests and diseases

  •  Plants grown in a greenhouse are prone to spider mite attacks.

Harvesting and conservation

  • Pick flowers and fresh leaves in season.

Herbal medicine

  • Violet is prescribed for cases of skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, or to get rid of mucus in cases of respiratory disorders.
  • In herbalism, fragrant violet is traditionally prescribed to treat certain cancers, including breast and lung.
  • For proper use of violet, consult your doctor or herbalist.
  • It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

Cooking

  • Fresh flowers are crystallized or transformed into syrups, jellies, vinegars, ice cream and confectionery.
  • Leaves and flowers add a touch of colour to salads and are prepared as teas.

This bright and beautiful flower will not only brighten up your garden, but you may find it useful in other ways as well.

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