HEARTS EASE (Viola tri-color), also known as Johnny Jump Up and many other historic names relating to its medicinal and folkloric history. The beautiful and delicate flowers are a range of deep purple to light lavender with touches of yellow and shaded white. Its fragrant blooms come on fast in Spring and, if you cut in the heat of summer, they will return in the Fall. Edible and a lovely topping for salads or cakes (especially sugared). A perfect perennial for the rockery, it reseeds with verve. Prefers a rich soil and sunny position, though it will be quite happy in the shade of taller flowers. Zones 3-9. 25 Seeds
Medicinal benefits: A natural source of salicylic acid, it has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties (especially good for skin). The leaves and flowers are edible, and the leaves, when added to soups can thicken in the way that okra does. Interestingly, a tincture made from the whole plant and added (just a few drops) to herbal tea, is useful for inducing sleep and treating nightmares.