Common blue violet
Sun/shade: Full sun to full shade
Soil moisture: Medium to wet
Flowering period: May
Host plant for 29 caterpillar species
An early-spring edible. Tasty flowers can be used as a garnish or in jellies, while young leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach. Common blue violet does not provide much nectar or pollen, but is host plan for nearly 30 species of caterpillars, including some fritillary butterflies that can only feed on violets. A robust self-seeder that forms a nice ground cover. Will pop up in lawns.
Photo by Jason Swanson.