Common Dog Violets
Lovely purple wildflowers seen all over the Western Isles. Easy to identify - these bright purple flowers with 5 petals are so pretty - they flower from May through to July in the Hebrides.
The common dog violet - a really beautiful dainty little purple wildflower - seen on the Western isles.
In late spring - early summer - these largish, blue-violet Violets show their heads
Also Heath Violet & Marsh Violet
Here in the Western isles - you can also see the Marsh Violet and the Heath Violet.
Five Petals - Flowers
The flower of the common dog violet is unscented and there is always only one flower on the stem - five petals with a curved spur - notched at the tip and a lovely rich purple colour. The plant grows to a height of 150mm - it flowers on the Islands between May and July. Individual flowers are small but in such profusion that the plant is conspicuous from some distance.
The common dog violet's name is derived supposedly from the fact that it has no scent at all - meaning it was only suitable for dogs. It is sometimes called wood violet - probably due the fact that it thrives in the woodlands.
Differences Between Marsh Violet - The Common Dog Violet and the Heath Dog Violet
The leaves of the common dog violet are more heart shaped, and the leaves of the marsh violets are long stalked circular to kidney shaped and all basal, whilst the heath dog violets are longer rather than broader and there is no basal leaf rosette
The heath dog violet, is the least common of the three violets and the flowers are usually bluer than the other species, it has a yellow or whitish spur.
The Marsh Violet has no leaves on the flower stem and is usually a really pale blue violet colour - almost white and the leaves are rounded at the ends - kidney shaped , and is common in the boggy wet areas
Flowers since 500BC
True violets have been known for centuries - indeed they have been cultivated as far back as 500BC.
Ancient Greeks used violets in medicine
The Ancient Greeks used violets in herbal medicine and as sweeteners
Symbol of Fertility
The Ancient Greeks thought violets were a symbol of fertility using then in love potions.
Old folk lore says that an infusion of violet leaves is an old gypsy remedy for cancer
|Inches and cm sizes are approximate|