This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Viola pectinata Bicknell, Torreya 4: 129. 1904.
Plant from short erect rootstock, glabrous except sparsely hirtellous on the margins and veins of leaves; blades at petaliferous flowering narrowly ovate-deltoid, about 1 1/4' long and \' wide, subcordate, sharply dentate; blades of mature leaves in summer widely ovate-deltoid, commonly 2' long and 2 1/2'-31/4' wide, the base truncate or nearly so, often decurrent, the apex acuminate, the margin closely and deeply dentate below the middle, or often pectinate with linear acute entire lobes; flowers on peduncles about the length of the leaves; petals deep violet, white at the base, the three lower villous-bearded, all often with scattered hairs; sepals narrowly lanceolate, with rather long auricles; capsules ovoid-cylindric, often 7" long; seeds buff, about 3/4" long.
1897. Not Pomel. 1874. Viola Brittoniana Pollard, Bot. Gaz. 26: 332.
Rootstock thick, erect; scapes slender, 4'-8' high, mostly longer than the leaves; blades reniform to ovate in outline; 1 1/4'-2 3/4' wide when mature, 3-parted and the segments 2-4-cleft into linear or oblanceolate acute lobes, distantly serrulate, the middle lobe somewhat the widest; glabrous except for minute pubescence on the upper surface and margin; flowers large, rich violet with the white throat conspicuous; sepals linear-lanceolate, acuminate; capsules ovoid-cylindrlc, 5"-8" long; seeds buff, i" long.
In peaty or moist sandy soil along the coast, from southern Maine to Virginia. May-June.
Rootstock short, vertical; leaves palmately multifid, primarily 3-parted or -divided, each segment again 3-cleft or -parted into linear subdivisions, these often further cut into 2-4 lobes; leaves of late summer less deeply dissected, sometimes 3'-4' wide, usually cuneate at the base with prominent flabelliform veins, the lobes hirsutulous on the margin; scapes exceeding the leaves, bearing showy, violet flowers; cleistogamous capsules yellowish when ripe, 5"-7 1/2" long, on erect peduncles commonly shorter than the petioles; seeds 1" long.
Prairies, Ohio to Saskatchewan, southwest to New Mexico and Arizona. April-June.