Viola pectinata E.P. Bicknell. Section: Nosphinium. Subsection: Borealiamericanae. Phen: Apr-May. Hab: Moist sandy or peaty soils, sphagnous ground and seeps of coastal (sometimes brackish) marshes and riverbanks, and fields, meadows, trail edges, and forest clearings in formerly natural habitats. Dist: Atlantic coast, MA south to NC.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: While some subsume this into V. brittoniana without taxonomic recognition and others recognize it as a forma under V. brittoniana at best, it differs in leaf features from V. brittoniana besides the lack of lobes on the leaf blade. While northern populations are invariably adjacent to or intermingled with var. brittoniana, southern populations commonly grow separate from the latter in somewhat different microsites, and also produce larger seeds. Conservative treatment for biodiversity’s sake urges maintenance of species rank until further studies clarify its evolutionary and taxonomic status.
Synonymy: = K4; = Viola brittoniana var. pectinata (E.P.Bicknell) Alexander – RAB; < Viola brittoniana Pollard – FNA6