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Definition of VIOLET
a: any of a genus (Viola of the family Violaceae, the violet family) of chiefly herbs with alternate stipulate leaves and showy flowers in spring and often cleistogamous flowers in summer; especially: one with smaller usually solid-colored flowers as distinguished from the usually larger-flowered violas and pansies
b: any of several plants of genera other than that of the violet — compare dogtooth violet
: any of a group of colors of reddish-blue hue, low lightness, and medium saturation
Any of the approximately 500 species of herbaceous plants or low shrubs that make up the genus Viola, which includes the small, solid-coloured violets and the larger-flowered, often multicoloured violas and pansies. Many Viola species have two types of flowers: the showy spring flower is infertile; the less conspicuous summer flower is self-fertilizing. The best-known species of Viola have heart-shaped leaves. The popular florist's violets, consisting of several hybrids (many of them V. odorata), are usually called sweet violets. The family Violaceae, to which Viola belongs, has members worldwide; they are typically small trees and shrubs that grow as low vegetation beneath the taller trees of forests. The so-called African violet belongs to the gesneriad family. See alsodogtooth violet.