Are horned violets edible or poisonous? The plants, known in technical jargon as Viola cornuta, are decorative and not least popular for this reason. But are they also safe for humans and animals? Safety should come first, especially when it comes to curious pets or small children living in the household. This is also why many people do without horned violets. But is that necessary?

Toxic or edible?

Horned violets or Viola cornuta are related to pansies and show this by their similar appearance. Unlike these, however, they have neither a laxative nor a nausea-triggering effect. One thing they have in common, however, is that both plants are non-toxic.

In the case of horned violets, both the flower and the leaves are edible and can be used in many ways. Whether candied or as a tasty decoration on the salad – the colored and juicy green parts of the plant are already a feast for the eyes but also a floral highlight in terms of taste.

This applies to both humans and animals. If your cat or dog plucks, plucks or chews on the horned violets, that’s no reason to worry either. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised in certain cases. Because even if the plant itself is not poisonous or harmful, treating it before selling it can be dangerous to your health.

Preferred horned violets

Anyone who prefers to buy horned violets in stores should initially refrain from eating them. Because the plants are often treated with pesticides and other chemical agents to prevent disease and parasite infestation. The agents used can cause health problems in humans and animals.

Since simply rinsing off is not enough to safely remove the substances, the plant should not be used for consumption. Only about a year after purchase can it be assumed that the potentially hazardous substances have been degraded.

You should therefore either buy the plants from a reliable source that is certain that no harmful substances are used. Or you have to pull them yourself in order to be able to completely rule out contamination by pesticides.

Tip: Horned violets can be grown wonderfully on the windowsill or integrated into the kitchen herb garden. This ensures fresh flowers and leaves all year round.

Horned violet varieties: differences

Horned violets are offered in numerous different varieties, which differ in color or colors. From white to deep violet, monochrome and multicolored, there is something for every taste. However, this does not change the taste of the leaves and flowers or the edibility.

Therefore, different varieties of horned violets can be grown for color variety in the garden and for consumption.

Use horned violets in the kitchen

Horned violets are not poisonous, but edible – that much is clear. But how exactly can they be used in the kitchen? The imagination knows no limits. However, the following ideas can serve as inspiration:

  • the flower is decorative and edible and can therefore be used as an ornament on the plate or cold platter, on cakes and desserts
  • the mild but aromatic taste is the ideal addition to fruit, leaf and vegetable salads
  • candied flowers are a highlight among the sweets
  • Flowers embedded in jelly or jam add to the taste and appearance
  • the blossoms can become eye-catchers on and in homemade chocolates
  • the leaves are suitable for salads with lettuce, vegetables and herbs
Tip: Both the flowers and the leaves of the Viola cornuta can be used in the kitchen. However, the flower is used more often because it is more decorative. Both should only be picked when they can be processed or consumed directly. Because then the aromas are most intense and both the look and the taste are most appealing. Therefore, it makes sense to plant horned violets yourself.

Grow horned violets yourself

If you want to be absolutely sure that the horned violets are free from pesticides and pesticides, you should cultivate them yourself. This also has the advantage that leaves and flowers are available for consumption at all times. Growing the plants yourself is very easy even without a green thumb and also brings color to the garden, balcony or windowsill. Since horned violets germinate in the light, you should not cover the seeds with soil.

If the young plants have reached a height of about five centimeters after a few weeks, they are first pricked out. Only strong, healthy plants are placed individually in pots or boxes. In addition, the substrate is changed from potting soil to a normal, permeable and nutrient-rich potting soil. Keeping the substrate slightly moist throughout makes sense. For fertilization only harmless, natural means should be used.

If the plants are kept frost-free and bright and watered and fertilized regularly, they will last for several years and can be harvested again and again to enrich the kitchen with flowers and leaves.

Tip: Horned violets can be grown indoors all year round. All you need is a germination temperature of 15 to 20 °C and sufficient light. In winter, a plant lamp may have to be used to illuminate the plants for a few hours a day.

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