Viola blanda Willdenow. Section: Plagiostigma. Subsection: Stolonosae. Phen: Chasmogamous flower Mar-Jul (-Aug); chasmogamous fruit May-Jun (-Aug). Hab: Moist microsites in mesic forests on slopes and along streams, often under conifers (e.g., Tsuga), northern, or at higher elevations southwards. Dist: NH and QC west to MN and ne. ND, south to DE, MD, w. NC, n. GA, e. TN, OH, IN, IL, and e. IA.
ID notes:This species can be distinguished from V. incognita by its commonly red-tinged petioles and peduncles, pubescence (if present) restricted to subappressed hairs on the upper surface of the leaf blades, largest leaf blades narrowly ovate and deeply cordate with narrow sinus, the short basal lobes with inner edges commonly touching or overlapping, acute apex and crenate margins (check this at the widest point on the leaf blade), glabrous lateral petals, summer stolons with leaves and cleistogamous capsules distributed along their length, and smaller broadly obovoid dark brown seeds. The narrower leaf blade shape (especially in younger chasmogamous flowering plants) and shallowly crenate blade margins are similar to V. minuscula, but it differs in the upper surface of the leaf blades commonly bearing subappressed hairs, glabrous petioles, and heavily spotted cleistogamous capsule on a prostrate peduncle. It is different from some coastal and southeastern populations of V. primulifolia with subcordate or shallowly cordate leaf bases in having the leaf blade base deeply and narrowly cordate with inner edges of the basal lobes touching or overlapping, glabrous foliage or hairs limited to the upper surface of the leaf blades, and heavily spotted cleistogamous capsule on a prostrate peduncle. It is easily distinct from V. renifolia in the elevated narrowly ovate leaf blades with acute apex, pubescence (if present) restricted to short subappressed hairs on the upper surface of the leaf blades, and broadly obovoid dark brown seeds.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Synonymy: = F, G, S, Tn, Va, WV, Ballard, Kartesz, & Nishino (2023); = Viola blanda Willd. var. blanda – K1, K3, K4, NE, Ballard () (in prep), Haines (2001); < Viola blanda Willd. – C, FNA6, Pa, RAB, W, McKinney & Russell (2002), (also see V. incognita)