Don't mistake this plant for the common African violet that's a popular indoor/outdoor plant. Truly wild violets always live outdoors. This hardy perennial does well in intensely shaded areas and can pop up in the most unexpected spots, such as the dark crevices of a forest floor, among prairie grasses and even in wetlands. Wild violet is sweet-smelling, and it tastes sweet, too! Use the well-washed blooms in salads, or crystallize them with sugar to decorate desserts.
The coloring of this plant can range from the palest purple to the deepest blue, and the spectrum also includes oranges, pinks, whites and other brilliant colors. Wild violet emerges in early spring, and it prefers well-drained soil abundant with decayed manure and organic matter.