When you think “violet”, you almost always think “purple”. Kinda obvious, because the colour violet is a shade of purple. But K-Country has Violet flowers that are NOT purple, and the Evergreen Violet (Viola orbiculata) is just one. This pretty little flower is yellow.
Evergreen Violets are also called Round-Leaved Yellow Violets. They even are occasionally referred to by a different Latin name, Viola sempervirens. They also have a very similar looking, but VERY different growing, cousin. The flower of the Yellow Wood (or Yellow Mountain) Violet, Viola glabella, looks almost the same. But those grow very tall, up to 30 cm. The Evergreen Violet is a forest floor hugger.
The big, heart-shaped basal leaves of Evergreen Violets stay green all year round, hence their common name. The winter snowpack presses them to the ground. Often in the spring, when the snow recedes, folks think these plants are greening up early. That’s just last year’s leaves.
As noted, they’re most common on the forest floor in moist, mossy wooded areas. You’ll typically see the flowers in K-Country in late June and early July.
Like all Violets, these are edible, so long as you avoid the seeds, fruits and rhizomes which are poisonous. They’re high in Vitamin A and C. They have many uses, from tea to salads, to even colouring for jams, jellies and syrups.
See more of the pretty flowers of K-Country here!