The New Student's Reference Work/Violets
Vi'olets, a class of well-known plants, found mainly in temperate regions. There are over 200 species, which are sometimes divided into stemless and leafy-stemmed violets. The common violet, found wild in the United States in pastures and woods, has heart-shaped leaves and flowers usually light or dark violet, though there are white and yellow varieties. The round-leaved violet, found in the northern woods with yellow flowers, the sweet white violet, the larkspur violet, arrow-leaved violet, Canada violet etc. are among the many varieties. The English violet is prized for its fragrance, and is cultivated extensively for winter bouquets. The most showy and popular variety of the violet is the pansy or tricolor, which has been introduced from Europe. Its irregular-shaped flowers, with their beautiful coloring, in white and shades of purple and yellow, are among our commonest garden flowers. They are said to have been first raised about 1810 by Lady Mary Bennett from a common weed. They are called pansies from the French word pensées (thoughts), heartsease, none-so-pretty, love-in-idleness, Johnny-jump-up and kiss me at the garden gate.