Dog Violet - Viola canina Dog Violet - Viola canina

Herb: Dog Violet

Latin name: Viola canina

Family: Violaceae (Violet Family)

Medicinal use of Dog Violet:

The flowers and leaves are powerfully cathartic and emetic. The plant has also had a reputation for curing skin diseases.

Description of the plant:


40 cm
(1 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Heaths, dry grasslands, dunes and fens to 420 metres.

Edible parts of Dog Violet:

Young leaves and flower buds - raw or cooked. When added to soups, they thicken them in much the same way as okra. A tea can be made from the leaves.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of Dog Violet:

Heaths, dry grasslands, dunes and fens to 420 metres.

Known hazards of Viola canina:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.