Stream Violet

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Other Names:
Yellow Wood Violet, Pioneer Violet
Latin Name:
Viola glabella

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Stream Violet is a beautiful groundcover and wildflower with edible yellow flowers and edible heart-shaped leaves.  It's our largest native violet. 

Edible Uses

Violet leaves are evergreen and prolific in milder parts of our region.  They can be used as a nutritious fresh salad green, 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 also a native food source used in salad mixes, as a coloring, 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.  Also, eating large quantities of flowers can lead to diarrhea.  

Ornamental Qualities

Stream Violet's ornamental value is well-known.  It is a pleasant groundcover with heart-shaped leaves that produces a continuous show of yellow flowers from very early spring through summer.  It’s flowers have the characteristic spurred violet shape, hanging like lanterns off small green stems - similar to Nodding Onion.  A great replacement for pansies in the home ornamental landscape, or amidst other groundcovers in the rockery.  Looks beautiful with Early Blue Violet and Oregon Stonecrop.

Environment and Culture

Stream Violet’s wild home is in moist open forests and riparian areas within its native range.  It’s an important pollination plant for native insects, bees, and butterflies.   It can be found naturally growing with Early Blue Violet, Miner’s Lettuce, & Redwood Sorrel.

Harvest, Care, and Preparation

Stream Violet spreads easily via rhizomes and seed, readily forming an edible groundcover in shaded areas.  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, coloring, or decoration for elegant dishes.

  • Native Range: WA, OR, CA, ID, MO, AK, BC.
  • USDA zones: 4-8
  • Ease of Care: Easy
  • Deer Resistance: High
  • Light Requirements: Full or Partial Shade
  • Soil Type: Any, prefers well-drained
  • Water Requirements: Moist to Wet
  • Pollination: Self-Fertile
  • Bearing Age: 1 yr from seed
  • Size at Maturity: 2-12 inch
  • Plant Spacing: 8-12 inches
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring - late Summer
  • Harvest Time: All year long in mild climates.

Pot Sizing Guide


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