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Viola walteri House. Section: Viola. Subsection: Rostratae. Walter's Violet, Prostrate Blue Violet. Phen: Chasmogamous flower (late Jan-) Mar-May; chasmogamous fruit May-Jun; cleistogamous fruit Jul-Aug. Hab: Nutrient-rich woodlands and forests, dolomite bluffs and ledges especially on mafic or calcareous rocks to the north, sandy or rocky and often acidic soils in dry or dry-mesic forests southward. Dist: Sc. PA, ne. WV, and w. VA west to sc. OH and AR, south to n. peninsular FL and e. TX.

ID notes:This species and V. appalachiensis are our only mat-forming members of subsect. Rostratae. It is distinct from V. appalachiensis in its densely puberulent foliage and peduncle, typically ‘‘variegated’’ or bicolorous leaves with gray-green or silvery-green lamina and darker green veins, deeply lacerate to laciniate stipules, and other features as noted in the key. Its mat-forming nature and puberulent foliage resemble V. odorata, but the usually variegated upper surface of the leaf blades, longer spur, short bent style, and small brown seeds separate it. If the mat-forming stems and elongate spur went unnoticed or flowers were not present, this species could potentially be confused with V. hirsutula on the basis of the relatively short broad variegated leaves, but its densely puberulent foliage would distinguish it.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Synonymy: = Ar, F, Fl2, G, K1, K4, RAB, S, Tn, Tx, W, Ballard (1992a), Ballard et al. (2014); = n/a – Pa; = Viola walteri House var. walteri – FNA6, K3, Va, McKinney & Russell (2002)

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷