Leaves ovate to orbicular from a stout, simple or branched rootstock; petioles and under surfaces of the young leaves, and often the scapes, villous-pubescent; leaf blades blunt or pointed, heart-shaped, the margins crenate-serrate, sometimes becoming 4 inches wide when mature. Corolla violet to lavender, and occasionally white; sepals broad, usually blunt, finely ciliate below the middle; petals rather broad, the lower and lateral ones densely bearded with white toward the center of the flower. Cleistogamous flowers ovoid on short, horizontal peduncles, usually underground, but lengthening and ascending as the capsule ripens; capsules green, mottled with brown; seeds dark brown.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
A. Woolly Blue Violet - Viola sororia
In rocky or rich woodlands, moist meadows and on shady ledges, Quebec to Minnesota, south to North Carolina. Flowering in April and May.
Quite as abundant is the Meadow or Hooded Blue Violet (Viola papilionaeea Pursh) with nearly glabrous foliage, very large leaf blades which are reniform or ovate, deep-blue flowers, the odd petal often narrow and boat-shaped, usually beardless; capsules ellipsoid, green or dark purple. Common in moist fields and groves, frequently about dwellings.
The Broad-leaved Wood Violet (Viola latiuscula Greene) possesses broadly ovate-deltoid leaf blades, the earliest ones blunt and tinged with purple beneath; petioles glandular-roughened; flowers violet-purple. In dry, open woods in sand or gravel.
The Southern Wood Violet (Viola hirsutula Brainerd) enters our range only in southern New York. It is a small species with leaves lying close to the ground, the blades orbicular to reniform, purplish beneath, silvery pubescent above; flowers reddish purple.
The Northern Wood Violet (Viola septentrionalis Greene) is common in moist, open woodlands south to Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The foliage, except the earliest leaves, is hirsutulous. The leaf blades are ovate to reniform, heart-shaped, ciliate and blunt; sepals blunt, closely ciliolate nearly to the tip; flowers deep violet to pale lilac.