Violas boast colors of white, orange, burgundy, yellow and purple. The five delicate petals of the flower can be single or bi-colored and are attached to a central core with short dark purple to black stripes extending outward from the flowers center.
Violas are available year-round with some gaps in the summer months.
Violas have long been used as a natural way to treat arthritis, headache and body pain as they contain salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory that is found in aspirin. In the past a syrup of violas was commonly made to help treat coughs and colds. Additionally, the flowers can be macerated into a paste and applied topically to treat acne, eczema and other skin irritations.
Violas make an attractive addition to herb, green and grain salads. Violas can be cooked down with sugar to make syrups and jams. Violas can be used to flavor vinegar, oils, beverages, butter and tea. Most commonly they are used for ornamental purposed and can be used candied or fresh atop ice cream, crème brule, tarts, cakes and other delicate pastries.
Native to Europe, the viola dates back to 4th century BC Greece where they were commonly used for medicinal purposes. In medieval times they were scattered on floors to freshen the air, the Romans were known to make the flowers into wine and in the Victorian era they were used to create fragrant perfumes. Mentions of the flower even appear in Shakespearean writings. Today violas are a popular garden flower and can be found growing in temperate regions throughout the world.
Disclaimer: The Flower Barn has researched all the edible flowers listed above. However consuming the flowers or plants listed here is at your own risk. The Flower Barn cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction to the flowers. In case of doubt please consult your medical professional.