An old Latin name for violet (Violaceae). A genus of some 500 species of hardy perennials, mainly from northern temperate regions, including violas, pansies and violets of which there are many hybrids and strains.
Species cultivated V. adunca, hooked spur violet, to 4 inches, violet or lavender with white eye, spring, North America.
V. arvensis field pansy, 6 inches, cream, Europe including Britain, Asia, annual weed. V. cornuta, horned violet, 9-12 inches, flowers violet, June to August, Pyrenees; cultivars, including the `Violettas’, derived mainly from this species, are available in shades of yellow, plum-purple, rosy-lilac, blue and white with a yellow eye. V. cucullata, 6 inches, white, veined lilac, April to June, North America. V. x florairensis, 4 inches, mauve and yellow, spring and summer. hybrid. V. gracilis, 4-6 inches, deep violet, April to August, Balkans, Asia Minor vars. alba, white; ‘Black Knight’, purplish-black; lutea, golden-yellow; major, violet. V. hispida, Rouen pansy, to 8 inches, violet, summer, Europe. V. labradorica, 4-6 inches, porcelain-blue, summer, North America. V. odorata, see Violet. V. palmata, 6 inches, violet-purple, summer, North America. V. rupestris, Teesdale violet, to 2 inches, bluish-violet, Asia, Europe including Britain, North America. V. saxatilis, 4-8 inches, violet, summer, Europe, Asia Minor. V. x wittrockiana, see Pansy.
Cultivation Violas do best in a moist, well-drained soil and in light shade. Propagation of cultivars is by cuttings rooted in late summer in sandy soil in a cold, shaded frame. Species and strains are raised from seed sown in late summer in light soil in a cold, shaded frame.