Spring Violet

Nutritious annual green with Culinary and Medicinal Benefits

Nutritional, Culinary & Medicinal Uses

Culinary: One can make Wild Violet Tea using the ratio of one part flower to two parts leaves. Place two teaspoons of dried leaves, one teaspoon of dried flowers, one cup of boiling water, and honey. They can also be cooked in soups or stews. The leaves help to thicken liquids [3].

Nutritional Benefits:  The flowers and leaves are rich in vitamins A and C and in rutin, which is an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory. The plant is also possessive of phytochemicals [2].

Medicinal Uses: The plant help to strengthen the immune system and bring down inflammation, including in the bronchial passages. They also work against coughs and can be rubbed on skin bites and conditions. [3] 

How to Cultivate and Harvest

Planting: Plant violets in the early spring, or you can plant them in the autumn. Plant them 8-10 weeks before the final overnight frost in small pots or trays. One can spread the seeds in a dispersed way over the surface of the tray soil. Keep the soil moist, and provide generous sunlight. Plant them in the ground in the autumn or early spring, spaced 6-12 inches apart. Have them be somewhere with full sun to partial shade. These plants are not good with droughts or extreme heat [1].

Harvesting: Harvest both the flowers and leaves unless one is foraging and not entirely sure which kind of leaf one is working with, in which case, harvest just the flowers [2]. 


Wash the violets and place them in a dry place for four days to a week on a towel on a drying rack. Once dry, place them then in an airtight container (such as a dark Ball jar) [5].


According to Christian legend, the violet was blooming outside the Virgin Mary’s window when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her to announce the coming of the Christ in Luke 1. Its simple, unassuming appearance relates to the maid’s humility and modesty. Another tale comes from Italy where it was said that when St. Fina—a humble girl devoted to helping the poor—when her body was removed from the bed, there were white violets growing from the board. [4]

Garden Salad made of violets low res


1. McCollum, Hollyanna. “How to Plant and Grow Violet.” Better Homes & Gardens, 13 April 2023, https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/perennial/violet/

2. “Wild Edibles: Common Blue Violets”. 12 May 2021, University of Minnesota, https://extension.umn.edu/natural-resources-news/wild-edibles-common-blue-violets

3. Apelian, Nicole. Davis, Claude. The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, Claude Davis, 2020, pg. 142-143.

4. Realy, Margaret Rose. A Garden Catechism. Our Sunday Visitor, 2022, pg. 120-121

5. Orlando-Lalanguna, Sienna. “Foraging Violets and Recipes.” Roots and Harvest, 23 March 2020, https://blog.rootsandharvest.com/foraging-violets-and-recipes/#:~:text=Drying%20violets%20is%20super%20easy,store%20in%20a%20dark%20cupboard.

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