Viola edulis Spach. Section: Nosphinium. Subsection: Borealiamericanae. Phen: Chasmogamous flower Feb-May; chasmogamous fruit Feb-May; cleistogamous fruit Apr-Aug. Hab: Sandy to mucky alluvial soils of low terraces, floodplains and swamps along blackwater streams and rivers. Dist: Se. MD (Longbottom, Naczi, & Knapp 2016) south to e. GA.
ID notes:This species is most likely to be confused with the few other heterophyllous taxa with glabrous foliage, namely V. egglestonii and V. viarum in the Viarum species group. It differs from those two species in its less deeply divided leaf blades with 3-5 lobes, the lateral shorter and broader, glabrous spurred petal, unspotted cleistogamous capsule on rather tall erect peduncle, sharply acute sepals, elongate auricles, brown seeds with dense minute black spots or reticulations, and restriction to riparian bottomland forests on the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Taxonomy Comments: Previously delimited broadly to encompass all strictly to essentially glabrous heterophyllous violets, but recently found to belong to a group of distinct evolutionary species including Viola species 2, Viola species 5, and Viola chalcosperma. The present taxon is narrowly delimited and restricted to the e. Atlantic Coastal Plain. The correct name for this taxon at species rank appears to be V. edulis.
Synonymy: = Ballard () (in prep), Ballard, Kartesz, & Nishino (2023); = Viola esculenta Elliott ex Greene – F, G, GW2, S, Va; = Viola palmata L. var. esculenta Elliott ex D.B.Ward – K3; = Viola palmata L. var. heterophylla – K4; < Viola palmata L. – WH3; < Viola palmata L. var. heterophylla – FNA6; < Viola palmata L. var. palmata – C; < Viola septemloba Leconte – RAB