"Surely as cometh the Winter, I know / There are Spring violets under the snow."        -- Robert H. Newel


Ancient Greeks and Romans

The violet was considered a symbol of fertility and love by the Ancient Greeks, so they were used in love potions. Garlands of violets would be worn by ancient Greeks to ward off headaches and dizzy spells. Moreover, they used the plants to help induce sleep, strengthen the heart, and to calm anger.

Romans loved violets as well. They used these plants for decorative means and created a wine from violet blossoms.  To the Romans, the flowers were a symbol of innocence and modesty.

Medicinal Use

In North  America, the use of violets in medicine appears to stem from the practices of immigrants who were familiar with the European species. It has been discovered that violets contain salicyclic acid, one of the ingredients in aspirin. In some cases, the flowers and leaves of some Viola species are used to make a syrup. This syrup is medicine for respiratory illnesses associated with congestion, coughing, and sore throat.

The leaves and flowers of Viola sororia have potential to purify blood. They contain a substance that strengthens capillaries called rutin, and are also a source of Vitamins A and C. Its vitamin C content is three times that of oranges!



Many of the Viola species have flowers that are edible and are used as food additives. They may be included in salads, made into jelly, and candied, allowing them to be a colorful decoration to spring cakes. The slightly gummy leaves may add a nice feel to a soup and thicken it.

State Flower Symbol

Viola sororia is now the state flower of Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island! During the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, states began to be inspired for adopting state flowers.

In 1908, the decision of what Wisconsin's state flower would be was put into the hands of children in its schools. Four final candidates remained, including the arbutus, violet, white water lily and the wild rose. In the next year, amongst the four flowers, the violet won. However, it was not adopted as Wisconsin's official state flower until June 4, 1949, a year after a youth committee was finally set up to officially adopt several state symbols.



Of the four eastern states that adopted Viola spororia as the official state flower, Illinois was the first. It adopted its state flower in 1908 after schoolchildren voted in 1907.



The flower was adopted by New Jersey in 1971 after New Jersey's garden clubs kept urging the Legislature to designate the violet as the state flower. 




In 1968, Rhode Island made this species their state flower, as well. The legislation was then reinforced on July 13, 2001.




Wow! Did you catch all of that?! The small Common Blue Violet is one cool flower! If you still disagree with that, I encourage you to navigate through the pages again! However, if you want to rest your mind from the complexity of this organism, go to the About the Author page to see who the organism that created this webpage is!