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Viola (Viola cornuta)

Viola - Edible flower

Commonly known as heartsease for its medicinal properties, Viola tricolor has long been used as an edible flower, sprinkled on salads or desserts. It makes a dainty plant, with pretty little violet- and yellow-faced miniature pansy flowers. The flavour is delicate and perfumed. Pick the flowers when they have just opened and leave them in cold water to swell up slightly before scattering on to salads. To crystallise flowers, use a fine brush to paint them with egg white and scatter with caster sugar. Leave to dry for two hours. Use within a week, on top of cakes or puddings.

Growing violas

Self-seeding easily, they live up to their name of “jumping up” every springtime – even in the most unlikely places. They are very easy to grow, and greatly rewarding. 15-30cm in height with a 15cm spread. Any soil in partial shade or sun is fine.

Viola(Viola cornuta)

Commonly known as heartsease for its medicinal properties, Viola tricolor has long been used as an edible flower, sprinkled on salads or desserts. It makes a dainty plant, with pretty little violet- and yellow-faced miniature pansy flowers. The flavour is delicate and perfumed. Pick the flowers when they have just opened and leave them in cold water to swell up slightly before scattering on to salads. To crystallise flowers, use a fine brush to paint them with egg white and scatter with caster sugar. Leave to dry for two hours. Use within a week, on top of cakes or puddings.

Growing violas

Self-seeding easily, they live up to their name of “jumping up” every springtime – even in the most unlikely places. They are very easy to grow, and greatly rewarding. 15-30cm in height with a 15cm spread. Any soil in partial shade or sun is fine.

Viola cornuta is known as tufted pansy or horned violet. This pretty little spreading evergreen perennial is often treated as an annual. Its slightly scented flowers give a mild wintergreen flavour. The flowers appear from spring into early summer and sporadically after that. There are several different coloured varieties available—a favourite is King Henry, with showy purple flowers and a yellow throat.

Best-loved of the true violets, Viola odorata, with its modest charm and heady fragrance, has been a regular in gardens since the Medieval period, and is an easy-to-grow excellent ground-covering perennial. In early spring the vitamin rich tender leaves and bright flowers of sweet violets (Viola odorata) have long been used to add colour and flavour to salad greens. 7cm in height with a 30cm spread Moderately heavy, rich soil in semi-shade Propagate by seed, cuttings or division. Other violets that can be added to cooked greens, or in salads include birdsfoot violet (V. pedata), Canada violet (V. canadensis) and marsh blue violet (V. cucullata)

Nutritional and medicinal benefits

Violas contain vitamins C and A and antioxidants such as anthocyanin, a flavonoid.

Viola cornuta is known as tufted pansy or horned violet. This pretty little spreading evergreen perennial is often treated as an annual. Its slightly scented flowers give a mild wintergreen flavour. The flowers appear from spring into early summer and sporadically after that. There are several different coloured varieties available—a favourite is King Henry, with showy purple flowers and a yellow throat.

Best-loved of the true violets, Viola odorata, with its modest charm and heady fragrance, has been a regular in gardens since the Medieval period, and is an easy-to-grow excellent ground-covering perennial. In early spring the vitamin rich tender leaves and bright flowers of sweet violets (Viola odorata) have long been used to add colour and flavour to salad greens. 7cm in height with a 30cm spread Moderately heavy, rich soil in semi-shade Propagate by seed, cuttings or division. Other violets that can be added to cooked greens, or in salads include birdsfoot violet (V. pedata), Canada violet (V. canadensis) and marsh blue violet (V. cucullata)

If you are going to use Viola to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first. 

Viola (Viola cornuta)