One of my favorite wildflowers is the blue to purple Violet that blooms in early spring. Related to the larger Pansies, the tiny flower often grows in colonies. On the property my mother recently moved from there are large colonies of white, yellow, and different species of blue/purple Violets. A bi-color white/blue Violet, often referred to as the ‘Confederate Violet’, is named after the colors in the Confederate Solder’s uniforms during the American Civil War. Now it is believed the bi-color Violet is a color deviation of the common Blue Violet and not a separate species. Some species of Violets can be very fragrant.
Several years ago I purchased a packet of Violet seeds and tossed them around the parameter of a large Rose bed. To my surprise when they bloomed they were the ‘Confederate Violets.’ It is always a joy for me to see the bi-colored flowers blooming in mass. They have spread all around the edges of my Rose bed.
Wild Violets are one of those plants many people see as a weed or a pest and spend lots of money spraying poisons on their lawns to eliminate the flowers. Of course all this toxic poison is not good for people or the environment and often founds itself into our drinking water.
I have never understood why people are so hell-bent on killing Violets in their yard. The plant is usually only six inches tall or less and is even with the lawn. A large patch of purple flowers growing in the grass is a thing of beauty, not an enemy to pour toxic poisons on. And when the flowers are no longer blooming, the soft heart shaped Violet leaves look good in the grass! Many Violets produce seeds above and below ground. Ants like the oily coating on the seeds and carry them off dispersing the Violets. In addition when the Violet seed capsules are ripe they often explode open tossing seeds in all directions. Like with so many plants/perennials if you don’t want the Violets invading your flower bed simply dig them up. As I said earlier I personally love Violets and don’t find them overly aggressive or invasive.
There are several magical uses of Violets. Because the leaf is heart shaped many feel the Violet leaf promotes peace and tranquility. A person who carries a Violet leaf is provided protection from possible evil. Newlyweds, new babies, and pregnant women carry Violet leaves in a sachet to bring good luck. Placing Violets under your pillow calms angry tempers and provides peace and tranquility to bring forth a good night’s sleep.
Picking the first Violet flower in the spring grants the person his dearest wish. Often Violet flowers weaved together in a crown is used to ease headaches. Often Violets are blended together with other flowers in love spells.
In the ancient past Violets were often associated with the death of a child. Planting Violets on a child’s grave was felt to bring great comfort to the sad grieving hearts of parents and loved ones. Many times Violets are used in death rituals and prayers are offered in remembrance of the child’s life.
In my 415 Raspberry Picket Trilogy, Book One-The Seven Sacred Seeds, the young nephew Darach and his Uncle Rubus are given the task of collecting seven sacred seeds for a spell to stop an evil entity from destroying all plant life on Earth. In the midst of a raging snowstorm they are led to a remote graveyard and to find a witch’s child’s grave. Beneath the piling up snow, and just beneath the earth, are seed capsules of Violets.
As they attempt to harvest the Violet seeds from a witch’s child’s grave, they are savagely attacked by a hoard of murderous ghosts. With Uncle Rubus nearly unconscious and bleeding, Darach must gather the seeds, save his uncle and himself by pushing back the spirits with magical herbs, and get themselves to safety in an old dilapidated church at the top of the hill of the ancient graveyard.
So for so many reasons, let the Violets grow and spread, and after a long cold winter enjoy their early spring flowers!