Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Viola adunca

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Botanical Name : Viola adunca
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. adunca
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms : Lophion aduncum. Viola bellidifolia. Viola clarkiae. Viola cordulata. Viola desertorum.
Common Names: Hookedspur violet, Early blue violet, Sand violet, and Western dog violet, Kirk’s violet, Hooked Spur violet

Habitat: Viola adunca is native to Eastern and Western N. America – Alaska to California, also Ontario to Quebec and New Brunswick. It grows on damp banks and edges of meadows in most forest communities, 1500 – 2400 metres from Alaska to N. California.
Viola adunca is a perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in). This is a hairy, compact plant growing from a small rhizome system. The leaves are spade- or heart-shaped, sometimes with broadly wavy margins. They are generally 1 to 4 centimeters long. The single-flowered inflorescence grows at the end of a long, very thin peduncle. The nodding flower is a violet with five purple petals, the lower three with white bases and purple veining. The two side petals are white-bearded near the throat. The upper two petals may have hooked spurs at their tips.


It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, cleistogamous.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5[200]. All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities. There is at least one named form selected for its ornamental value. ‘Alba’ has white flowers. Flowers formed late in the season are cleistogamous (lacking petals, the flowers do not open but are self-pollinated).

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. A tea can be made from the dried leaves.
Medicinal Uses:
Early blue violet was used medicinally mostly by the Blackfoot and Bella Coola Indians. An infusion of the leaves and roots has been used to treat stomach problems and asthma in children, and also as a wash and poultice on sore and swollen joints. The roots and leaves have been chewed by women during childbirth. A poultice of the chewed leaves was applied to sore eyes. A poultice of the crushed flowers was applied to the side or chest in the treatment of pain.

Other Uses : A blue dye can be obtained from the flower.

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

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