Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Plant Profile: Wild Violet

Wild Violets (Viola sp.) are a sweet little wildflower with heart-shaped foliage and tiny purple flowers. There is also the closely related Confederate Violet, which has white flowers with purple streaks.

A lawn of Wild Violets can be a lovely sight in early spring, though some consider this dainty flower to be more of a weed than a welcome garden plant. However, they are a native wildflower that is the host plant for several kinds of fritillary butterflies and can have a place in your home landscape.  They make a nice groundcover in a woodland garden and can also be grown easily in a container.

They need virtually no care, except to cut the ground-level brown flowers back to prevent seeding, if you do not want them to reproduce by self-sowing. They also expand in clumps through underground rhizomes.

Wild Violets are edible and are a favorite of foragers. You can eat both the flowers and foliage. A purple syrup can be made from the flowers to flavor a cocktail and add a fun coloring to baked goods.

Wild Violets - You Can Grow That!

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The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz

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~ Podcast: GardenDC

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