This is the most common and best known of our Violets, and is found everywhere within its range, preferring generally low grounds in woods, meadows and marshes from Nova Scotia to Minnesota, and southward to Georgia and Kansas during April, May and June. It readily adapts itself to all conditions, and varies greatly in colour, size and leaf form, according to its situation. In boggy lands it produces ridiculously long, flowering stems, quite necessary, however, to raise its blossoms to the light, above the long grasses. In wet, swampy woods, forms having their leaves twice as long as wide and nearly lance-shaped are found. The golden-centred flowers vary widely in size and colour, graduating in the latter from light purple to pale violet, and even striped varieties frequently occur. While they are found commonly in open, sunny places, Violets as a family are to be seen at their best where there is shade and moisture, and in the vicinity of cool streams and springs they are most beautifully developed. The lower petal is spurred, and, together with the two lateral or side ones, which are prettily bearded, have a flash of white at their base and are marked with dark purple lines. The stamens are tipped with orange. The rootstock is short and thick, and the foliage which closely surrounds the flowers is full bright green in colour. This Violet does not produce runners, but flowerless buds succeed the true flowers and mature without opening. The large, heart-shaped leaf is prominently ribbed, and has a toothed or scalloped edge. The surface is covered with very fine hairs, and before they are fully matured, the lobes of the leaves are curled upward. The flower stem is slender and smooth, and the leaf stem is grooved on one side, and both rise direct from the root.
MEADOW VIOLET. Viola cucullata.