Evergreen Violet is a beautiful groundcover, vegetable, and wildflower with edible yellow flowers and edible heart-shaped leaves. It is unique to the West Coast.
Evergreen violet leaves are green all year long and can be used as a nutritious salad addition, a potherb, or as a tea. They have a mild taste and soft texture that melts in your mouth, similar to Checkerbloom. They can be used to thicken soups or broth. The flowers are a beautiful, mild addition to salad mixes or candied as a dessert or cake decoration. Leaves and flowers are high in Vitamin C and A.
CAUTION: Rhizomes, fruits, and seeds are NOT edible. Flowers eaten in large quantities can cause diarrhea.
Evergreen Violet is a pleasant groundcover with heart-shaped leaves that produces a continuous show of yellow flowers from Winter through Spring. Less vigorous than Early Blue Violet, and will intermingle with other groundcovers of similar vigor (instead of dominate), like Woodland Strawberry or Miner’s Lettuce. Its' flowers have the characteristic spurred violet shape, hanging like yellow lanterns off small green stems - similar to Nodding Onion. A great replacement for pansies in the home ornamental landscape, amidst other shade-loving groundcovers, or even in a vertical garden - growing up or down a cool brick wall.
Environment and Culture
Evergreen Violet’s wild home is in moist woodlands up and down the West Coast. Flowers are important for butterflies, and seeds for mice and birds. It can be found naturally growing with Redwood Sorrel, Fiddlehead Fern, and Miner’s Lettuce. Once established, it is very low-maintenance.
Harvest, Care, and Preparation
Evergreen Violet is a great native, perennial vegetable. It’s easily harvested by hand, or with a small knife. Eat leaves and flowers raw as you walk by, or collect for a wild salad. Get creative and experiment with the flowers as garnish or decoration for elegant dishes.