Here's an old photo of an English Violet when healthy and intact, with a pristine white face that shows no trace of dark veining, although it does have a purple spur.
After grieving this larval damage to the white variety of English Violets, I went over to the other side of the Skidmore campus, where I knew of a patch of the purple ones that grow along Daniels Road. How delighted I was to find them thriving undamaged and in full bloom! I could find no sign of any larvae having fed on either flowers or leaves. What a gorgeous deep-purple these violets are! And as fragrant as they are beautiful.
Since these violets grow wild by the side of the road, where they are being encroached upon by masses of Garlic Mustard, I felt no guilt about picking a small nosegay to bring home to perfume my kitchen. (I also weeded back a considerable swath of that Garlic Mustard.) Considering how this wee little bouquet filled my car with their scent in just a few seconds, I can imagine that the Victorian ladies who once lived at this very site might have cultivated this violet species for the sole purpose of their fragrance.
Apparently, these violets are just as tasty as they are fragrant -- or at least they were to my cat, who promptly leapt on the table and began to chew on them. To protect my little bouquet, I had to cover it with a glass. I lift the glass now and then to release that glorious perfume.
Okay, this violet is not a native species. And I am a native-wildflower snob. So shouldn't I regard it with disdain? But oh, it's so lovely, and oh my gosh, that fragrance! And while it's non-native, I've never really experienced it as invasive. So who could resent its presence?