A family of dicotyledo-nous (see dicotyledon) herbs, and some shrubs and trees, in which the leaves are simple and stipulate. The flowers are usually solitary, though sometimes in racemes, mostly irregular, with 5 free sepals, petals, and stamens, and the corolla is frequently spurred. The superior ovary is 1-celled, with usually 3 parietal placentae, with a single, often curved and thickened style. Modern classifications recognize some 23 genera, with 930 species, found throughout much of the world. Viola (violets, pansies), containing herbs with alternate leaves and spurred corollas, is the largest genus and is mainly temperate. Various species are cultivated for their attractive flowers.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.