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violet

violet, common name for some members of the Violaceae, a family of chiefly perennial herbs (and sometimes shrubs, small trees, or climbers) found on all continents. Violets, including the genus Viola and similar related species, are popular as florists', garden, and wildflowers. Of this large group, with its fragrant blossoms ranging from deep purple to yellow or white, over 60 species are native to the United States and well over 100 varieties are offered in trade as ornamentals. Florists' violets are usually the sweet, or English, violet (V. odorata). Garden violets (often called violas) are generally hybrids and may be purple, blue, rose, yellow, white, or combinations of these, sometimes with double flowers. It became the flower of Athens; followers of Napoleon, who promised to return from Elba with violets in the spring, used the blossom as a badge; and in the United States a violet is the floral emblem of three states (New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin). The flavors of various species, particularly the sweet violet, have been used for perfume, dye, and medicine and have been candied. The common pansy was originally derived, long ago, from the Old World V. tricolor, one of several species called heartsease and Johnny-jump-up; the Eastern field pansy, a wildflower of North America, is a separate species. Some unrelated plants are also called violets, e.g., the African violet of the family Gesneriaceae (gesneria family) and the dog-toothed violet of the family Liliaceae (lily family). True violets are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Violaceae.

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Violaceae

Violaceae A family of dicotyledonous (see DICOTYLEDON) herbs, and some shrubs and trees, in which the leaves are simple and stipulate. The flowers are usually solitary, though sometimes in racemes, mostly irregular, with 5 free sepals, petals, and stamens, and the corolla is frequently spurred. The superior ovary is 1-celled, with usually 3 parietal placentae, with a single, often curved and thickened style. Modern classifications recognize some 23 genera, with 930 species, found throughout much of the world. Viola (violets, pansies), containing herbs with alternate leaves and spurred corollas, is the largest genus and is mainly temperate. Various species are cultivated for their attractive flowers.

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violet

vi·o·let / ˈvī(ə)lət/ • n. 1. a herbaceous plant (genus Viola, family Violaceae) of temperate regions, typically having purple, blue, or white five-petaled flowers, one of which forms a landing pad for pollinating insects. ∎  used in names of similar-flowered plants of other families, e.g., African violet. 2. a bluish-purple color seen at the end of the spectrum opposite red. • adj. of a purplish-blue color.

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violet

violet The sweetly scented flowers of the wild violet (Viola odorata) are candied or crystallized and used as decorations in confectionery, or to make a sweet soufflé. The flowers can be used to flavour syrups, and both flowers and leaves can be used in salads.

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violet

violet Any of c.400 species of herbs and shrublets of the genus Viola, found worldwide. Violets may be annual or perennial, with five-petalled flowers that grow singly on stalks; usually blue, violet, lilac, yellow, or white. Family Violaceae.

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violet

violet
A. plant of the genus Viola
;
B. dress of purplish-blue, the colour itself XIV. — (O)F. violette, †-ete in both senses and (O)F. violet in the second sense, dims. of viole — L. viola VIOLA1.

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violet

violet traditionally regarded as a flower of spring, the violet is also sometimes taken as emblematic of modesty and shyness.

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violet

violet See VIOLA and VIOLACEAE.

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violet

violetmallet, palette, pallet, valet •tablet • pamphlet • aglet • anklet •candlelit • hamlet •Caplet, chaplet •lamplit • flatlet • mantlet •haslet, Hazlitt •scarlet, Scarlett, starlet, starlit, varlet •armlet • lancelet • branchlet •martlet, tartlet •plantlet • pellet • reglet • necklet •playlet • lakelet • bracelet •platelet, statelet •wavelet • leaflet • eaglet • streamlet •billet, filet, fillet, millet, skillet, willet •driblet, triblet •piglet • singlet • gimlet • inlet •kinglet, ringlet, springlet, winglet •ripplet, triplet •wristlet •eyelet, islet, stylet, twilit •pikelet •collet, Smollett, wallet •goblet • rodlet •omelette (US omelet) • droplet •torchlit •corselet, corselette •gauntlet (US gantlet) • owlet •townlet • toadlet • notelet • toilet •moonlit • sextuplet • fruitlet •bullet, pullet •booklet, brooklet, hooklet •quadruplet • annulet • septuplet •rivulet • quintuplet •gullet, mullet •doublet • floodlit •runlet, sunlit •couplet • cutlet • frontlet • violet •coverlet • circlet • verselet

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