Herb latin name: Viola japonica

Family: Violaceae (Violet Family)

Medicinal use of Viola japonica:

The whole plant is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic and depurative. A decoction is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils, acute conjunctivitis, hepatitis, acute jaundice, laryngitis and ulcers.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

to April

Habitat of the herb:

Lowland areas, C. and S. Japan. Hillsides and damp places in China.

Edible parts of Viola japonica:

Young leaves and flower buds - raw or cooked. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. Root - cooked. Mucilaginous. Rich in starch, it is eaten in soups. 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 Viola japonica:

Lowland areas, C. and S. Japan. Hillsides and damp places in China.

Known hazards of Viola japonica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.