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African Violets

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Violets: The Flowers of the Gods

Have you noticed those beautiful violet flowers laid on the graves? Ancient Romans believed that these flowers symbolize their deep affection for their loved ones who passed away. Folklore relates these flowers with an ancient myth of one of the goddesses named Diana or Artemis and her nymph companions who had sworn to stay maidens. Their modesty was attributed to the violet.

Violets or Viola come the family of Violaceae, commonly called as spring flowering plants. It has about 400 to 500 kinds of violets in this family. They come from the Northern Hemisphere and can be found in Canada, Hawaii, Australasia, and in the Andes in South America. They thrive mostly in

moist and in shaded places like hedgerows. Basically, these Violets have heart-shaped leaves and lopsided flowers. Its petals determine to the species they belong such as there are Violets with a spur at the end of every petal. These flowers differ in color where of some them are blue, or yellow, or cream and some have two colors like blue and yellow. Most Violets are little perpetual plants but some bloom annually while other Violets grow as small shrubs. Violets are classified into different types such as:

• African Violets which are considered as exotic house plants that live in warm temperature. Refrain from planting African Violets outdoors unless the temperature is warm. Its flower cannot stand temperature below 20 degrees. They need moderate to full sun exposure and watering twice every week. Prevent from saturating the soil because plenty of water can kill the plant. Avoid the leaves from getting wet because it can lead to blemishes and discoloration. Repotting them is needed when they grow bigger.

• Wild Pansy, also known as a field violet or Johnny Jump-Up, is a violet flower that comes in purple shades but can be in other colors such as yellow, white and blue. Some are mixed colors. They can grow as much as 6 inches high. The flowers are soft and oval or roundish petals and leaves are green and heart-shaped. They thrive on full sun and rich well-drained soil.

• Common Meadow Violet can be found in the wild across New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. This type of Violet plant is common because it is easy to grow and nurture for. The petals are big, soft and round which resembles the windmill. The center and the foliage is light green and the flowers are edible. There are some people who use the plant to make candies and jellies. Common Meadow Violet has been found to have high doses of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. In our modern world, Violets can be found as indoor plants at home which represent family and marriage. They are also used as wedding bouquets which symbolize the couple’s promise and faithfulness.