Since I realized Violet would be one of the plants I wanted to work with this year, I’ve seen exactly 3 flowers along the edge of my yard… no wait, it’s 4… uh, hold on, actually make that 7… well, there’s some more, so that’s 15… holy cow! look, there’s a whole field of them!
In an earlier post I had lamented that although I had tons of Violet where I work, I couldn’t find a single one here at my home. Right after that post, I was walking the dog, and what do you know, there was a single dainty purple flower all by its lonesome, and two more nearby. I didn’t dare pick them for fear of them disappearing never to return. Then today I took another walk and saw several more along the edge of the woods. Then a few more, and a few more… By the time I got to the meadow, I could see they were all over the place.
Oh my, don’t I feel blessed! There are still too few to think about harvesting them seriously. I think I’ll leave them to proliferate this year, except for a snack here and there.
These country Violets are a little different from the city Violets I’ve been enjoying the last few weeks. The flowers are nearly identical, but the leaves are shaped a bit differently. They are more elongated and have little horns on the edge near the stem.
Violets in the country photos
According to Steve Brill, there are a couple of plants with similar, Violet-like flowers that are poisionous, so since the leaves were different here than what I was familiar with, I was careful to make sure it was in fact a Violet before tasting it. My research indicated that these variations in leaf shape are very common among Viola species.
I found that both the flower and leaves of these country Violets are less sweet and fragrant than the ones with more rounded, heart-shaped leaves at my work place. They are also a little more astringent, but still very mucilaginous. Probably they contain exactly the right mix of medicine I need at the moment!