Violets belong to the violacea family, they are one of the most prised flowers after the rose. Violet flower meaning is deeply rooted in mythology, folklore and history.
In this ultimate guide we will cover everything there is to know about the violet flower. We will dive into myths, symbolic meanings, uses, history and more.
So grab a drink and let’s get into the deep and amazing history of violet flowers.
What is the true meaning of violet flower?
The violet flower symbolises affection, artistic ability, honest, fidelity, simplicity, think of me and thoughtful recollection. Its possible powers are divination, inducing sleep and calming tempers.
The variety viola tricolour, Banewort or Johnny Jumper means caring, fond memories of love and kindness of those who have passed, memory, think of me, you occupy my thoughts. Its possible powers are love charm and divination.
All varieties of the violet flower fall under the dominion of the planet Venus.
Different Violet flower colour meaning
The violet alba or white violet signifies candour, innocence, let’s take a chance on happiness, modesty and purity. Its powers include healing, love, protection and wishes.
Viola odorata, Sweet Violet is also called blue violet. They symbolise modesty. Their possible powers are attraction, beauty, gifts, harmony, protection, sensuality and wishes.
Yellow violet or Viola pubescens’ symbolic meanings are rural happiness, a rare worth and modest worth. Its possible powers include healing, lust, protection and wishes.
Viola sororia, Wood Violet or Purple violet symbolise faithfulness. Some of their powers are friendship, love, pleasure, sensuality and the arts.
Violet Flower as a birth flower
The violet flower falls under the dominion of the planet Venus. The planet Venus rules both the Taurus and Libra zodiacs. Therefore, the violet flower is a Taurus and Libra birth flower.
The Taurus zodiac in astrology is the natural ruler of the second house. This is the house of material possessions and also the concept of value.
On the other hand, Libra is the natural ruler of the seventh house. This is the house of all kinds of partnerships in life, not just romantic ones.
As for birth months, we can take the zodiacs relevant to the violet flower and find out what months the flower would be associated with.
Those born in Taurus are born between April 20th and May 21st, while those born in Libra are born between September 22nd and October 23rd.
Violet flower in Greek mythology
The violet flower was highly regarded by ancient Athenians, so much so that they made it an emblem of their city.
Violet flower meaning derives from ancient Greece myths. It is not surprising that the violet flower has various myths and legends from ancient Greece.
The ionione in the flower smell is a reminder that ion is Greek for violet. This has its origins in the legend of Io and Jupiter.
In legend, Jupiter was in love with Io, however his wife Juno was always angry and jealous. So, to not draw suspicion from his romance, he turned Io into a cow. Another version of this legend states that Io was a nymph in Ionia and she made an offering of flowers to Jupiter.
Another myth retells that the violet was once a fair nymph. Diana transformed her into this flower in order to avoid the importunities of the god Apollo.
In yet another legend, violets were the descendants of unfortunate girls. They defeated Venus in a debate she had with Cupid about whether the sweetness of the two of them was greater than that of her.
The result was Venus beating the nymphs in a jealous rage.
An etymologist traced the Greek name Ion to Ia, Midas’ daughter. She was betrothed to Atys however, Apollo the sun god pursued her. Therefore, Diana the protector of women turned Ia into a violet to hide her from Apollo’s lust.
Are violet flowers edible?
Violet flowers are edible and they have been used in various culinary ways.
In ancient Rome wine was made out of the flowers and it was a very popular beverage. Additionally, vinegar was also made out violets, they were said to give an agreeable taste and colour.
During the medieval times, violets were grown as a herb for salads and were eaten raw. This was still in practice until the Victorian times.
They were also used as a confectionery which became very famous in the 17th century as remedy for weak lungs.
There are other culinary uses for the violet flower:
- Cough remedy by mixing violet, brandy and honey.
- Violet syrup that can be used on ice cream and porridge.
- Violet cheese cake, use the petals of the flower when mixing the cream cheese.
- Violet Liqueur.
- Sugared violets.
The benefits from the essence of the violet flower
The essence of the violet provide a lot of benefits for different situations.
- The violet essence helps with emotional healing and also promotes balance. This can be used for those who feel too shy or withdrawn. It will help to connect with emotions and expression.
- It has a calming effect on the nervous system. This will benefit those who suffer from nervous tensions, stress and anxiety. Additionally, it will help to have better sleep or relaxation.
- It can be helpful for those who are suffering from grief and also a deep emotional pain. The essence will provide comfort and support during this unsettling period.
- It has a purifying effect that helps the body to eliminate the immune system and also toxins. It will also help to relieve coughs and congestion.
- Violet essence will also help those on a spiritual path to connect with their crown chakra. This will help connection with higher self and also gain wisdom and guidance.
Some facts and beliefs about the Violet flower
- Violets were considered as a traditional mothering Sunday gift.
- They were the original valentine’s day flowers before roses.
- Violets have a soporific effect as it contains ionine.
- In England there was a superstition that if roses and violets bloomed together in Autumn then there will be an epidemic the following year.
- In the language of flowers, the violet was associated with death due to its colour or perhaps because of its use as a soporific.
- Dreaming of the violet flower means that there is advancement in your life.
- The viola tricolor was a used by Celts in love potions to mend a broken heart.
- There was a belief that picking up the viola tricolour while it was still wet with dew would result in the death of a loved one by the next full moon.
- In order to attract love, wear or carry viola tricolour.
- The viola odorata would help against wicked spirit but also bring good luck.
- In the 14th century at the Toulouse Clemence Isaure, the author of the best poetical composition would receive a golden violet.
- Ancient Greeks wore the violet flower, they believed that it would calm tempers and also induce sleep.
History of the Violet flower in Ancient Greece
The violet flower is native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. Sweet violets were amongst the first flowers that were ever grown for commercial purposes.
The sweet violets were sold in the markets in Athens around 400 BCE and became so prised that they also became the city’s symbol. During that time they were used in cooking but also to make wine, dyes, garlands, medicines and perfume.
The flower was mentioned by several Greek poets and botanists, they were described as second only to the rose.
Moreover, they believed than when used as medicine the violet flower would help to comfort and also strengthen the heart. This might also be where the flower gets its common name heartease from.
Violets were also highly regarded in other cultures, for example the Roman would make wine from the violet. They believe it would prevent epileptic fits.
Violet flower in Europe
In Europe the violets were used as a cosmetic, for cooking and also as a medicine.
In the New World plantations, sugar wasn’t readily available, and the violets were used to sweeten food. Moreover, candied violets were used in baking as decoration and sweetmeat.
In France they were also used as syrup in cooking. They were also grown on windowsills, cottage gardens and also in monasteries.
The French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte used the the viola odarata as the emblem for the House of Bonaparte. Moreover, it was the favourite flower is the Empress Josephine, she raised them at Malmaison.
After Napoleon was banished to Elba, he pledged to return to France when the violets bloomed again. His followers would wear violets in their buttonholes in order to show their support.
When Empress Josephine died sweet violets were planted on her grave and Napoleon plucked some of the violets. He wore them in a locket and that locket would be found around his neck after his death.
The second wife of Napoleon, Marie Louise, established the commercial culture of the double fragrant violets near Parma, in northern Italy. She had moved there in 1817 and the mild climate of the region made it easy to plant the flowers there.
Violet history in America
While the Europeans held the violet flower in high esteem, the Americans on the other hand seemed less impressed by the flower. It was perhaps because the local variety there was scentless.
However, Indian tribes would used violet flower both in cooking and also medicine. They had also chose the violet as their state flower.
When the Parma violets were introduced in 19th century it created an explosion in popularity. And by the end of the century it would then become an essential flower for corsages. The violets were then raised in fields near San Francisco, California and indoors in Hudson River valley.
They were first worn at the waist of a woman’s grown then later the style would change and they would wear then at the shoulder. No evening was complete without the fragrant violets.
The styles would remain for at least three decades then slowly be replaced with gardenias and orchids.
How to take care of your Violet flowers
Discover some tips on how to take care of your violet flowers.
- Light – Violets need bright light however, it is important not to place them in direct sunlight. When choosing a location for your violet flowers you might consider a place where they will receive filtered sunlight for a part of the day.
- Water – The Violet flowers prefer a consistent moist soil, but only water then when the soil feels dry to the touch. It is also important to avoid getting water on the leaves, because it can cause spotting or rot.
- Fertiliser – Every two or four weeks feed the violet a liquid fertiliser that contains phosphorus and potassium. It is important to not over fertilise as it can cause a salt build-up in the soil.
- Temperature and humidity – Violets prefer temperatures that are cool but also high in humidity. If you are planting violets indoors then make sure that the room is between 60-75°F (15-24°C), additionally use a humidifier or pebble tray.
Different types of violets might have slightly different care requirements. It is a good idea to research your specific type and the instructions for specific care.
Meaning and uses of the Violet flower during the Victorian Era
During the Victorian era the posies of violet were a fashion set by Queen Victoria.
The meaning of the violet flower during that time was modesty and humility. This symbolism of the violet appealed to the notion of the ideal woman.
The flower was so popular specially the sweet violet and also the Parma violet. They were grown commercially on a large scale by the Devon violet nurseries which supplied the markets of London.
A woman would pin a posy to her dress in order to denote modesty. If a Valentine postcard featured the violet flower it would then be presenting a love token.
During the Victorian time the sweet violet was considered as a the flower of love and therefore, the flower for valentine’s day not the rose.
St Valentine who was a Roman priest was executed for marrying a Christian. From prison he wrote to his lover with ink made from violet flowers.
Spiritual Meaning of the Violet flowers
The spiritual meaning of the violet flower are spirituality, humility and faith. The violet flower provides the ability to see beyond the physical and into the spirit realms. Moreover, it is a reminder to stay humble and faithful to your beliefs.
The flower is additionally associated with the crown chakra and also also symbolises inner wisdom, connection with higher self and also enlightenment.
It is a reminder to explore your spiritual side and also to connect with the divine in order to gain a better understanding of the world around.
What are some uses of the Violet flower?
Violets were used by ancient Greeks and Romans as medicine. It was prescribed for coughs, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis.
Tea made out of violet flower and leaves would help to alleviate headaches and also aid to relax. Moreover, the violet tea was used in 18th and 19th centuries as an after dinner tea.
Violets have a relaxing and calming effect on the nervous system and it helps to expel mucus. It would also help to alleviate whooping cough and postnasal drip.
In Africa, the violets were used as a remedy to cancer while the crushed leaves were used as a poultice for skin cancer and growths. A similar remedy was also found in Welsh and Russian folk medicine.
A plaster made out of violet leaves would also be used for ulcers and boils. This plaster was also recommended by herbalist to heal any kind of wounds.
There are different varieties of violet flowers, let’s explore some:
- Sweet Violet or Viola Odorara is a fragrant violet with blue or purple flowers.
- Canada Violet or Viola Canadensis is a purple flower violet with heart-shaped leaves.
- Early Blue Violet or Viola Adunca have blue or purple flowers and their leaves are deeply lobed.
- Yellow Violet or Viola Pubescens has yellow flowers and their leaves are usually hairy.
- Marsh Blue Violet or Viola Cucullata has blue flowers with heart-shaped leaves, those are found in wetlands.
- Common Blue Violet or Viola Sororia are blue or purple flowers with heart-shaped leaves that are found in meadows and forests.
- Alpine Violet or Viola biflora come in small, white or lavender flowers, they are found in alpine meadows.
- Northern White Violet or Viola Macloskeyi have white flower and heart-shaped leaves, they are commonly found in wetlands and also forests.
- American Dog Violet or Viola Conspersa have blue or purple flower and their leaves are heart-shaped, they are found in meadow and forests.
- Wild Pansy or Viola tricolor are small violet with yellow, white and purple flowers. Those flowers are often found in meadows or along roadsides.
There are numerous other violet varieties such as Birdfoot violet, long-spurred violet, meadow violet or confederate violet.
If you enjoyed our blog on the violet flower meaning then don’t miss out on other flowers that come under the dominion of the planet Venus.
FAQs on the Violet flower
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Deena Bsingh, a UK-born, Mauritius-raised content writer, is a dedicated explorer of the ancient world’s hidden treasures. Armed with classical studies knowledge and a decade of spiritual immersion, Deena delves deep into the wellspring of ancient wisdom. Her illuminating writings on flower meanings and culinary history are imbued with the profound insights she has gathered on her journey. Through her Medium articles, she guides readers on transformative journeys that bridge the gap between ancient cultures and contemporary consciousness, offering a rich tapestry of understanding that endures through time.