Violet - Viola

Most violets are small flowers that are low to the ground but the Canada violet grows to 16-inches high and still has a small blossom. The violet ranges in color from white to yellow and blue to purple. Some flowers have as many as three different colors in one blossom to the top petals being a dark purple and the lower petals a light purple. There will be a violet of some color in bloom from March through June.

Violets are a pretty spring wildflower that are commonly known to naturalists and some other people.

I have chosen seven different flowers in the violet family, out of some 600 species, to write about. They all have the same quality and ecology values, are used in food and candy and to represent states and a month in the year, in England. Most of these uses they say violet is not a specific species.

These flowers are pollinated by bees, butterflies, flies and other insects and are a food source for many different larva. The value of these flowers doesn't stop there. They have served us well in the past in medicine and still does in foods and candy

Our early settlers and Native Americans used the Canada violet root to make a tea to treat bladder pains, the roots and leaves to induce vomiting and made a poultice to treat boils.

The leaves are edible and are rich in vitamins A and C. You can use young leaves in salads or to thicken soups and cooked as greens but they are best mixed with other greens. Blossoms can be candied or a syrup can be made from them and a tea is made from the dried leaves.

Illinois, Rhode Island and New Jersey have a violet for their state flower and it's the flower of the month of February.

They flowers that I was talking about, in general terms, are the sweet violet Viola odorate, Canada violet Viola canadenis, yellow wood violet Viola biflora, long-spurred violet Viola rostrata, common blue violet Viola sororia, wild pansy Viola tricolor, field pansy Viola arvensis. These are all common wildflowers but you have to get out and look for them before you can see them. They are worth a little walking to see.

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