The cathedral of St. John the Divine. This is the chapter house, a smaller building next to the immense cathedral, one of the largest in the world. It’s a magnificent building, like a medieval fortress. But nature manages to sneak in somehow, finding a crack in the most impressive monuments. One little spark of green in the corner–a spring violet.
Violet is a genus, not a species–it’s like saying, “Oh, look, there’s a duck.” But is it a mallard, a wood duck, a black duck? There’s a zillion kinds of ducks. There are hundreds of species of violets, scattered over the globe. Some are fragrant, some have no odor at all.
All violet leaves are edible–very rich in vitamins A and C. They’re a nice spring green to throw into a salad. They’re a garden flower and a wildflower, growing with equal ease on both sides of the fence. They hide in the lawn and flourish in the florist shop. And as you’d guess from the way this little guy can grow out of a crack under these big stone blocks, they’re way more hardy than they look.