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Sweet Violet

Viola odorata


The flowers are aromatic. The flowers are normally either dark violet or white. The leaves and flowers are all in a basal rosette. The style is hooked (and does not end with a rounded appendage). The leaf-stalks have hairs which point downwards. The plant spreads with stolons (above-ground shoots). These perennial flowers can mature at a height of 4 to 6 inches and a spread of 8 to 24 inches.


The species can be found near the edges of forests or in clearings; it is also a common "uninvited guest" in shaded lawns or elsewhere in gardens. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The French are also known for their violet syrup, most commonly made from an extract of violets. In the United States, this French violet syrup is used to make violet scones and marshmallows. The plant is known as Banafsa, Banafsha or Banaksa in India, where it is commonly used as a remedy for sore throat and tonsilitis.

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Spotted by

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Spotted on Oct 21, 2012
Submitted on Oct 20, 2012

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