Herb: Bird's Foot Violet


Latin name: Viola pedata


Family: Violaceae (Violet Family)



Medicinal use of Bird's Foot Violet:

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.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
5 cm
(2 inches)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Dry rocky banks, in open deciduous woods on well-drained soils and on the edges of ditches in acid sandy soils.

Edible parts of Bird's Foot Violet:

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.

Other uses of the herb:

An infusion of the root has been used to soak corn seeds before planting in order to keep off insects.

Propagation of Bird's Foot Violet:

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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry rocky banks, in open deciduous woods on well-drained soils and on the edges of ditches in acid sandy soils.

Known hazards of Viola pedata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.