Wild Violets (Viola spp)

After trying several years to establish those little moisture lovers known as wild violets, I had one just come up in a pot. Needing a moist spot, this receives water drainage from the back porch roof. Not a sure ID without a flower and I haven’t tasted a leaf.

Wild Violet

Wild Violet

Not one of the starts I brought from a friend’s grass in Albuquerque ever bloomed or set seed, inside or out, and when they die… gone.  This is the first place I have lived without scads of wild violets.  Not sure if the water from the roof will maintain these through the year, but this one showed up.  If it would bloom and set seed, or send out rhizomes!  My guess is the seed came in on the pinecones and I have a mad urge to scatter pinecones (from the same source) all over my property.

Wild violets are my favorite green, they are mild and nutritious without the oxalic acid that comes with spinach.  I grew up eating Viola canadensis and my guess is this is the same but will not know until it blooms.  Wild violets are native to these mountains at higher elevations with more moisture.  It could be one of the other less common violets but the odds are against it.  When I go uphill I always look for them, just in case.

In Texas I ate Viola sororia, the common blue violet of the eastern half of the US.

After having trouble establishing wild violets around here, I hate to get too excited (but I am thrilled).  I have been eating wild violets for over 50 years and I miss them.



About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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4 Responses to Wild Violets (Viola spp)

  1. jgeerlings says:

    It does look like the common violets that spring up all over my Tennessee yard.

  2. Jgeerlings
    It could be. I will have to wait for the bloom to be sure. They are good to eat. I grew up with them as a salad green and like the taste. Have you tried to eat yours? In Texas they were evergreen and I ate them all winter. Are yours evergreen and do they bloom? They are best grown in shade, the leaf is more tender and a little larger. Hopefully it blooms and/or runs in the pot.

    • jgeerlings says:

      I have included them in a salad of gathered greens. They bloom – most violet and a few white. They are thickest in the shade of my plum tree. In the coldest weeks of winter they die back to the corm, but by late February have leaves that can be used.

  3. Yum! I usually have mixed greens. Sound like you may have canadensis and sororia, both grow in your area. I see little difference in edible in them.

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