Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species.
Violets have heart-shaped leaves with purple-blue flowers. Some varieties also have white or yellow blooms. Although in some areas they are considered annuals or biennials, wild violets often self-seed, coming back each year in unexpected locations. The flowers that are low on the plant, referred to as cleistogamous flowers, do not open but instead produce and house seeds, allowing the plant to readily reproduce.
Taken in a strong tea, they help with lung health by working as an expectorant. Wild violets help treat infections in the upper respiratory tract, as well as colds, congestion, flu viruses, and bronchitis. Overall, they are a gentle immune system stimulant.