A common wild plant in our woods and hedges, but of a fragrance superior to all that we received from the rich East. It is a little, low, creeping plant, obscure even when in flower; the stalks are round, green, and creeping; they do not rise up, but spread themselves along the ground, taking root at the joints; the leaves rise from these rooted parts; they are large and stand each on a long foot stalk. They are of a heart-like shape, and dented round the edges, and of a deep green. The flowers are small and of a deep and beautiful purple; they stand singly on short foot stalks arising among the leaves, and covered by them.
The flowers are the part used; boiling water is to be poured upon them just enough to cover them, and it is to stand all night; when it is strained clear off, the sugar is to be added to it, at the rate of two pounds to each pint, and it is to be melted over the fire; this makes syrup of violets, an excellent gentle purge for children. The leaves are dried also, and are used in the decoctions for clysters. An infusion of them works by urine.