|Rose Hips, Rosa species
Rose hips are a very important source of vitamin C. These are the seed capsules formed in the fall by flowering roses. Indians gathered them to dry for winter use. The hips turn a bright red or orange by the beginning of winter and a few may survive until spring. Rose hips may be eaten raw (if you have no taste buds) or better yet, mashed and made into tea. A handful of rose hips will make a quart of delicious tea. Sweeten with a little honey.
If you want to make an excellent preserve from rose hips try rose hip marmalade. Add 2 cups of water to 1 pound of rose hips. Boil until tender, then pass through a sieve. Discard the seeds. To the resulting mash, add 1 pound of honey and boil some more until it jells. This makes about 2 pints of delicious brown spread.
I have also tasted an excellent wine made form rose hips; it's a very pleasant way to take your vitamins.
Wild Violets, Viola species
Wild Violets are also reported to be a good source of vitamin C. They appear early in the spring and may be found throughout the summer. The first to appear are the violet blue variety; later, the common ones will have yellow flowers with small purple pansylike markings. This is usually a shade-loving plant found near the edges of woods or under overhanging bushes. Occasionally, however, they may be found in moist pastures or meadows.
The flowers and shiny green leaves do well in sprucing up spring salads.