Heath Dog Violet - Viola canina - Blue - Purple Hebrides Wildflowers

Heath  Dog Violet- Isle of Lewis  Wildflowers Hebrides

Heath Dog Violets
Violet canina - the heath dog violet - a lovely delicate tiny purple wildflowers see here in the Western Isles .

This violet is the bluiest of the three violets that grow here in the Hebrides.

This lovely delicate purple violet with lovely blue / mauve flowers is just one of the three violets to be seen here in The Western Isles.

The heath violet, actually is the least common. The flowers are usually bluer than those of the common violet and the marsh violet.

Heaths - Sand Dunes - Grassland Habitat
This violet, the heath dog violet has a whitish or yellow spur which can be seen emanating from the rear of the flower. It has pointed sepals and short spurred bracts at or below the middle of the stalk. It appears from around April to June. This small perennial member of the violet family is found on heaths, sand dunes, grassland

Leaves of the Heath Violet
The narrow, lance-shaped leaves of the heath dog-violet arise from creeping stems.The pretty, long-stalked flowers have five unequal petals that are a deep blue colour


Click pictures below for larger photographs

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

Heath  Dog Violet - Leaves
Heath Dog Violets - Isle of  Lewis

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.

Cancer Cure
Old folk lore says that an infusion of violet leaves is an old gypsy remedy for cancer

Richard 11
Who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new
Come spring?

O'you must wear yr rue with a difference.
There's a daisy; I would give you some
violets, but they withered all when my father died...

King John
To be possess'd with double pomp,
To guard a title that as rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

Twelfth Night
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! I had a dying fall:
O'it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!

The Lost Love

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove:
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love. A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye!-
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

Walter Scott
The Violet

The violet in her greenwood bower,
Where birchen boughs with hazel mingle,
May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen, or copse, or forest dingle.


Though fair her gems of azure hue,
Beneath the dew-drop's weight reclining;
I've seen an eye of lovelier blue,
More sweet through wat'ry lustre shining



The summer sun that dew shall dry,
Ere yet the day be past its morrow;
No longer in my false love's eye
Remain'd the tear of parting sorrow.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Violet

Upon the mead a violet stood,
Retiring, and of modest mood,

In truth, a violet fair.
Then came a youthful shepherdess,
And roam'd with sprightly joyousness,

And blithely woo'd

With carols sweet the air

"Ah!" thought the violet, "had I been
For but the smallest moment e'en

Nature's most beauteous flower,

'Till gather'd by my love, and press'd,
When weary, 'gainst her gentle breast,
For e'en, for e'en

One quarter of an hour!"

Alas! alas! the maid drew nigh,
The violet failed to meet her eye,


She crush'd the violet sweet.
It sank and died, yet murmur'd not:
"And if I die, oh, happy lot,
For her I die,

And at her very feet!"


Robert Herrick

Welcome, maids of honour,
You do bring
In the Spring;
And wait upon her.

She has virgins many,
Fresh and fair;
Yet you are
More sweet than any.

You're the maiden posies;
And so graced,
To be placed
'Fore damask roses

--Yet, though thus respected,
By and by
Ye do lie,
Poor girls, neglected.

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