Survival Tip


Viola papilionacea

Violet leaves are an excellent source for vitamins A and C.  Some have 8,200 IU vitamin A and 210 mg vitamin C per 100 grams.

I like them best in salads or used like lettuce in sandwiches. The leaves and flowers make a salad beautiful and much more nutritious.

If you must cook them, you can use them like okra to thicken soup.  Or add them to omelets. Or try some old colonial favorites, candy them by dipping them in beaten egg white and then into powdered sugar. Then set them out to dry.  Violet vinegar was made by soaking violet flowers in vinegar.



Crushed violets have been used as poultices for boils, swellings and many skin diseases.

The mountain violet Viola purpurea is also called "johnny-jump-up" has a yellow front and purple back is edible.

Pansies a botanicaly similar plant  are also edible, if they have not been poisoned with pesticides.




Violet roots and some yellow violets are emetic. (cause vomiting) African violets are mildly toxic.  Violets with deeply cut leaves, such as the Birdfoot violet Viola pedata, look very much like the toxic Larkspur Delphinium or Monkshood Aconitum. The flowers are quite different so wait for the flowers to come out before eating violets with deeply cut leaves.

Some violets are rare or endangered so make sure that the violets you eat are abundant.

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