Common Spring Violet

Common Violet

The violet is so common today that few people consider it a wild flower.  It grows just about everywhere. However, the violet has an impressive history in mythology and medicine.  The basal leaves are rich in Vitamin A and C and can be used in salads and cooked as greens.  The leaves are heart-shaped which may have influenced its ancient use as a love potion and heart medicine.  One of the first flowers of spring, it is an important source of nectar for early bees and butterflies.  The upper four petals attract pollinators and the lower petal serves as a landing strip.  (March-June)