Richard noted the adjective ‘violet’ changes with gender and number, despite being named after a real thing. Cécile answered the question. It took me a while to comprehend the answer, so if you don't mind I will add some comments to help myself and anyone else who might have the same difficulty. I think what Cécile is saying is the name of the flower is "violette", not violet; and because the original name of the colour is "violet", not violette, the two are not the same. They look close, but they are not identical. If the name of the flower en français was "violet", the story would be different.
Thank you for your remark, I have changed the answer to be more comprehensible
Hope this helps!
I thought at first that the point was that the flower took its name from the colour, rather than the other way round.
However, it seems I'm wrong, since according to wiktionnaire, violet is derived from violette, and violette is a diminutive from the Latin viola.
OTOH it also says: De violette, lui-même du latin viola (« pensée sauvage »). Horace emploie déjà le mot pour désigner la couleur de la fleur, donc viola serait déjà en latin violet.
Quite complicated. Maybe violette is too feminine sounding to be a universal adjective, and the obvious masculine form was used instead?
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