Vivacious Violets, A Springtime Treasure!

Ahhh, of all of the spring flowers, violets are one of the most lovely and lively! Because they’re a perennial, you can start a bed of them and they will come back year after year. In this first picture you can see heavy pollen from all the flowering trees around us right now.

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Violets are also edible: flowers, leaves and roots. They’re beautiful in desserts or used in a wild foraging or garden salad. Flavor-wise, they’re sweet and very floral, and can also be added to beverages, and especially candies and chocolates. Violet flowers have been long used as “sweat meats,” by dipping whole flowers in a mixture of melted cane sugar, lemon juice, and egg-white and then dropping them into cold water to “set hard” the sugar coating (Grieve, 1996).

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Ranging from violet and blue to yellow, white and cream (with some types being bicolored, often blue and yellow), they’re a wonderful way to add color to your garden. They’re hardy against light frost, and as a tea are known as a cough remedy and to have a relaxing effect. Some types are also seen as a helpful diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and topically have been know to assist with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as rheumatic complaints. Garden-wise, they’re great for ground cover, borders and containers.

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Violet/Pansy/Viola : Botanically speaking, violas, pansies, and almost all violets belong to the genus Viola. One quirk of some viola is the elusive scent of their flowers; along with terpenes, a major component of the scent is a ketone compound called ionone, which temporarily desensitizes the receptors of the nose, thus preventing any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover. So neat!🌿👃🌼

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Our owner, John, has been experimenting with violets in his garden:

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“One of our more experimental beds. This is spikenard (aralia racemosa). A woodland perennial found in Eastern North America. Roots, young shoots, and berries were eaten. It’s in a bed of violets, which are also edible: roots, leave and flowers. We also have some groundnut and a Chinese Mountain Yam. We’ll keep you posted with reviews.”

Can’t wait to hear how it turns out! Have you cooked with violets, or used them in home remedies? Feel free to comment below and let us know your experience with this beautiful flower! As always, makes sure you don’t have any allergies or underlying conditions that might have issues with trying a new herbal supplement or foraged food. And remember…

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