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..
Nearly glabrous; rootstock short, erect; leaves 3-divided, the lateral divisions pe-dately 3-5-parted or -cleft, the segments linear to spatulate, often 2-4-cleft or -toothed near the apex; the leaves of early spring and of late autumn often smaller and less deeply dissected; corolla 3/4'-1 3/4' broad, the upper petals dark violet, the three lower lilac-purple, all beardless; the orange tips of the stamens large and conspicuous at the center of the flower; capsules green, glabrous; seeds copper-colored; apetalous flowers wanting, but petaliferous frequent in late summer and autumn.
Viola palmata L. Sp. Pl. 933. 1753.
Rootstock thick, usually oblique, sometimes branched; leaves palmately 5-11-lobed or -parted, the segments variously toothed or cleft, the middle segment usually the widest; petioles and veins of the lower surface villous, the upper surface often glabrous; corolla violet-purple, 3/4'-1 1/4' broad, sepals ovate-lanceolate, rather blunt; petaliferous flowers on erect peduncles, cleistogamous on prostrate peduncles, their capsules ovoid, 4"-6" long; seeds brown, 1" long.
Wooded hills in dry rich soil, western Massachusetts to Minnesota, south along the Alleghanies to Florida. A form with the lateral leaf-lobes linear occurs in the region of the Great Lakes. Hand- or hood-leaf violet. Chicken-fighters. Roosters. Johnny-jump-up. April-May.
Viola Egglestonii Brainerd, a glabrous species, the leaf-segments oblanceolate, first known from Tennessee, has recently been found in Kentucky.
Not Le Conte 1826. V. Stoneana House, Bull. Torr. Club 32: 253. 1905.
Glabrous, except for very minute hairs along the margin of the leaves and on the veins; blades, except sometimes the earliest, 3-divided or -parted, the segments 2-3-cleft, the divisions cuneate or oblan-ceolate, acuminate, remotely toothed on the upper half, the middle division the widest, the two lower often lunate and coarsely toothed on the lower margin; mature leaves often io'-I4' high, the blades 3'-4' wide; flowers on peduncles 3-4' high, large, violet, darker toward the throat, lateral petals bearded, spurred petal glabrous; cleistogamous flowers on short horizontal peduncles, their capsules ovoid, blotched with purple; seeds buff.
Moist woodlands, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland. May.