The most fragrant species is V. odorata. Some species are used in perfume and confectionery. Some are also reported to have medicinal properties.
The specific epithet name “cornuta” means horned, in reference to its flower shape.
Gardeners often divide this genus into three groups: pansies, violas and violettas. Charles Darwin even got into the act by referring to a seedling of V. tricolor (‘Medora’) as one of the great first changes in this species with the conversion of the dark rays in the flower center to the now often seen dark blotch on the lower petal.
A reported favorite cultivar is ‘Sorbet’ that has dark blue/purple, cream flowers. Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but more light would be better.
According to Creasy (1999), fresh petals are edible. Can be used in salads, desserts, vinegar and syrups.