The violet is one of my favorite flowers (and purple my favourite colour). Violets are an early spring flower and I love to plant them in pots by my front door. They are certainly a cheerful sight at the end of winter.
Violets are not only beautiful, but have a delightful fragrance (I wear Yardley Violet perfume) and are edible (not African violets). They can be dipped in egg white and sugar and used to decorate cakes or petit fours, or frozen in ice cubes and floated in punch.
A beautiful salad can be made with edible garnishes of violets, and violet vinegar and violet honey are delectable treats that can be made for use or given as distinctive gifts.
In Victorian times, your breath could be assured to be fresh if you chewed on violets. On a recent trip to a local British shop, I purchased violet candy and it tastes wonderful.