Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wild Violet

April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again
Paul Simon, April Come She Will

[Click on the link to listen to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sing April Come She Will]

wild violet, kansas

wild violet, kansas, white and blue

Wild violet is a low-growing perennial found either singly or in clumps. It has waxy dark-green heart-shaped leaves that can cup toward the petiole and form a funnel shape. The flowers range in color from deep purple to pale blue and even white. The flower has five petals in the shape of an upside down star. The flower stem is shaped like a hooked cane. 

The plant has a fibrous root system and spreads by rhizomes and seeds. 

Kansas, Wild Violet, April 2014

Wild violet grows best in shaded, fertile sites and prefers moist soil. In woodlands when a bit of sun allows, it often is seen poking up from a pile of leaves. The violet is an early spring flower, first seen in mid-April. 

wild violet, blue and white

The violet flower connotes a delicate love. Roman and Greek myths tell the tragic story. Diana's (Artemis) nymph companions had sworn to stay maidens. One nymph was chased day and night by Apollo, Diana's twin brother. To protect her modesty, Diana changed the nymph into a violet. The term “shrinking violet” connotes a shy girl.

wild violet, five petals, cane shaped stem

Perhaps this is why Romans shower a spring salad with the pretty purple flower. 

Other recipes and uses of the Wild Violet.

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