Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Viola odorata L. var. alba

See Viola odorata L.  White flowered forms occur naturally in the wild.

Horticultural & Botanical History

An ancient garden plant.  There were many named varieties in Victorian gardens in a range of shades of blue and white, both double and single, often with very large, showy flowers.  Aubrey vol.1 pl.XXIX/1789.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.234/1845].  The wild form of the English violet is well established in the gardens although I have not seen any with white flowers.  A Victorian cultivar, ‘The Csar’ with large, deep violet flowers, has recently been introduced.


The common violet of Europe, Viola odorata, does not really qualify as a florist’s flower but was very popular as both a garden plant and pot-grown for house decoration and for scenting rooms.

Published Jan 31, 2009 - 04:36 PM | Last updated Aug 01, 2010 - 03:24 PM

Family Violaceae
Region of origin

Europe including Britain

Common Name

English violet, Garden violet, Sweet violet

Name in the Camden Park Record

Viola odorata white

Confidence level high