Violets are so tiny and delicately beautiful. They are a wonderful birth flower for February.
Violets generally come in purple or white and grow close to the ground, though some varieties can be small shrubs. Because they are so low to the ground and appear to be peeking out of their foliage, violets are associated with modesty and virtue.
During medieval times, violets were believed to provide protection from evil. The flower was strewn on the floor as an air freshener. Leaves and flowers were used in healing poultices. The flower was also used as a remedy for insomnia and as an antiseptic.
Ancient Greeks greatly honored the violet, wearing crowns of violets at feasts and celebrations. They also decorated their houses with violets. Romans used violets to decorate tombs during the Festival of the Dead in order to give peace to those who had passed on. Josephine, Napoleon Bonapart’s wife, wore violets on her wedding day. Napoleon was said to give her a bouquet of violets every anniversary.
Violets are perennials, though some varieties do not survive harsh frost. Grow in partial shade in hot climates. They are very hardy and seldom have problems with insects or disease.