Viola pedata

Botanical Name : Viola pedata
Family : Violaceae
Genus :  Viola L.
Species : Viola pedata L.
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order : Violales

Synonyms:
Viola pedata L.

VIPEC Viola pedata L. var. concolor Holm ex Brainerd
VIPEL Viola pedata L. var. lineariloba DC.
VIPER Viola pedata L. var. ranunculifolia DC.

Common Name :  Viola pedata,   Bird’s Foot Violet, Crowfoot Violet, Pansy Violet

Habitat :Viola pedata  is native to  eastern N. America – New York to Wisconsin and south to Florida and eastern Texas. It grows in dry rocky banks, in open deciduous woods on well-drained soils and on the edges of ditches in acid sandy soils.  Commonly occurs in dryish soils in rocky woods, slopes, glades and roadsides.

Description:
It is a rhizomatous, stemless perennial (to 4″ tall) which typically features variably colored flowers, the most common color forms being bi-colored (upper petals dark purple and lower ones light blue) and uniform light blue. Each flower rests above the foliage atop its own leafless stalk. Blooms in early spring (March to May in St. Louis). Pedata in Latin means foot-like.

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Bird’s foot violet features deeply divided leaves which somewhat resemble a bird’s foot.

Height: 0.25 to 0.5 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.5 feet
Bloom Time: March – May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Lilac/purple

Cultivation:
Best grown in sandy or gravelly, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Good soil drainage is the key to growing this plant well. Does not spread by runners. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions. Considered more difficult to grow than most other violets.
Propagation :
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring

Edible Uses: Young leaves and flower buds – raw or cooked. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. Some caution is advised if the plant has yellow flowers since these can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities. A tea can be made from the leaves. The flowers are candied.

Medicinal  Uses:
A poultice of the leaves has been used to allay the pain of a headache.  An infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of dysentery, coughs and colds.  A poultice of the crushed root has been applied to boils.  The seeds have been recommended in uric acid gravel.  The plant parts and roots have been used as a mild laxative and to induce vomiting. A decoction of the above ground parts has been used to loosen phlegm in the chest, and for other pulmonary problems.

Other Uses:
Use as very good ground  cover. An infusion of the root has been used to soak corn seeds before planting in order to keep off insects

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=G280
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VIPE

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