Herbs: Violet

Subject: Violet


COMMON NAME (English/German): Violet/Veilchen
LATIN NAME: Viola odorata
TYPE OF PLANT: low-growing perennial

LEGENDS/HISTORY: Violets sprang where Orpheus slept. In France during troubadour time, violets were given as a poetry prize. In southern Germany in the Middle Ages, the finding of the first spring violet was celebrated with dancing.

SYMBOLISM: modesty, devotion; also the symbol for Athens, Napoleon.

MAGICKAL deities: Io, Orpheus

MEDICINAL: Antiseptic and expectorant properties. Contains vitamins A and C.

EDIBLE: Can be used as garnish in chilled soups and punches; petals candied garnish cakes and pastries. Violets add verve to jams, jellies, liqueurs, puddings, flans, gelatins, fruit salads, and green salads. Violet water is used in tea breads, cupcakes, puddings, ices, fruit compotes, and chilled soups.
Herb vinegar--rose petals, violet petals with rice vinegar

CULTIVATION: Propagate from division or runner in late winter to early spring, setting one foot apart. If transplanting a violet plant from the wild, try to match the original environment. They self-sow and also spread by runners, which should be cut off to allow the crown to flourish.

HARVESTING AND STORAGE: They lose their odor quickly and will also lose their color if not dried slowly and well. Store out of light.

ETC.: Good in potpourri and nosegays.

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