In the late 1800's, Devon was famous for producing violets for the cut-flower and perfume trades. 'Bournemouth Gem' is a sweet violet which was bred especially to produce violets for the trade in cut flower posies. The delicately scented purple-blue flowers are exceptionally large with an open wide form and are borne on long stems above the partially evergreen foliage. It has distinctive veined, heart-shaped leaves which are a little glossy.
Grows well in semi-shade or Full Shade with free draining, fertile soil.
Sweet violets have been grown for over 2000 years and were the symbol of ancient Athens. Violets were used in cookery in medieval times and strewn in rooms to disguise unpleasant smells. Essential oil is extracted from the flowers and is still used today in the perfume industry.
Common name(s): Sweet violet