Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Viola, Key C: Acaulescent violets with stolons and white flowers (flowers commonly purple in V. odorata)

Click the number at the start of a key lead to highlight both that lead and its corresponding lead. Click again to show only the two highlighted leads. Click a third time to return to the full key with the selected leads still highlighted.

1 Corolla white or violet, > 1 cm long in profile; foliage puberulent; stolons greenish, cord-like, leafless and non-reproductive; style of chasmogamous flower with a pronounced downward-pointing hook; cleistogamous capsule hirtellous; [Eurasian, naturalized in lawns, roadsides and urban woodlots]
1 Corolla white, < 1 cm long in profile; foliage glabrous, hirtellous or hirsute; stolons pale, slender, commonly producing leaves, flowers and/or capsules along their length or terminating in a plantlet; style of chasmogamous flowers lacking a pronounced hook; cleistogamous capsule glabrous; [native].
..2 Leaf blades distinctly longer than broad (1.5-15× as long as broad), ovate-lanceolate to ovate-triangular, or lanceolate to linear, often decurrent onto petiole.
....3 Leaf blades ovate-lanceolate to ovate-triangular, 1.5–2× as long as broad, base broadly rounded to subcordate, not or slightly decurrent onto petiole
....3 Leaf blades lanceolate to linear-lanceolate in early flower, narrowly lanceolate to linear in fruit, 3-15× as long as broad, base cuneate and somewhat decurrent onto petiole.
......4 Largest leaf blades narrowly elliptical to lanceolate, 3-6 (-8)× as long as broad, (5-) 7-29 mm broad, often abruptly tapering to the petiole; gland of marginal teeth appressed to incurved, margins appearing subentire, low-serrate or (sub)crenate; summer plants producing surficial leafy stolons with cleistogamous capsules; lowest sepals of chasmogamous flowers narrowly triangular to ovate-triangular, acuminate; foliage glabrous (rarely sparsely hirtellous in extreme s. populations); [widespread but absent from parts of the se. Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain]
......4 Leaf blades linear to linear-lanceolate, 8-15× as long as broad, (2-) 4-9 (-13) mm broad, tapering gradually to the petiole; gland of marginal teeth ascending to spreading, margins commonly appearing denticulate; summer plants rarely producing surficial stolons, these leafless and non-reproductive; lowest sepals of chasmogamous flowers linear-lanceolate to lance-triangular, acuminate to attenuate; foliage glabrous to moderately hirtellous; [se. Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain]
..2 Leaf blades usually as broad as long or broader than long (< 1.2 × as long as broad), ovate or orbicular to reniform, not conspicuously decurrent onto petiole.
........5 Plant not stoloniferous; rhizome mostly vertical but twisted; leaf blades commonly prostrate on the ground in life, especially in fruit, reniform (occasionally suborbicular), broadly rounded to truncate or apiculate at apex, either entirely glabrous or densely hirsute on one or both leaf surfaces; petals beardless (lateral petals rarely with a few hairs); cleistogamous capsules purple-spotted, on short prostrate peduncles; seeds orange-brown to brown
........5 Plant producing stolons at least during summer fruit; rhizome vertical or horizontal (sometimes from a stoloniform rhizome); leaf blades elevated and spreading in life, narrower than long to slightly broader than long, oval or orbicular to broadly ovate, acute to obtuse or rounded at apex, lateral petals bearded or beardless; cleistogamous capsules unspotted on erect peduncles, or purple-spotted on prostrate to arching peduncles; seeds medium to dark brown or blackish-brown.
..........6 Leaf blades uniformly green on both surfaces (lower surface sometimes drying orange-tinged), strictly glabrous (petioles may be glabrous or pubescent), orbicular, mostly broadly rounded at apex, margins subentire to shallowly crenate; cleistogamous capsules green, unspotted, on erect peduncles; seeds 0.8–1.4 × 0.7–0.8 mm, medium to dark olive-brown with minute black spots
..........6 At least some leaf blades broader than long, bicolorous with darker green upper surface and paler lower surface, usually pubescent on one or both surfaces, obtuse to acute (acuminate) at apex, blade margins most often shallowly serrate; cleistogamous capsules with dense fine purple spots, on prostrate to arching peduncles; seeds 1.2–2.2 × 0.7–1.3 mm, brown or blackish-brown, unspotted.
............7 Leaves glabrous except for scattered appressed hairs on upper surface of leaf blades; largest leaf blades abruptly acute at apex, inner edges of basal lobes close or overlapping in life, sinus < 1/4 length of blade, margins shallowly crenate; petioles and peduncles red-tinged or -spotted; all petals glabrous; cleistogamous capsules 6.5-8 mm long; seeds 1.2-1.3 × 0.7-0.8 mm, blackish-brown; [Appalachian Mtn region and adjacent uplands, common at higher elevations]
............7 Petioles and/or either or both surfaces of leaf blades glabrous or sparsely to densely hirsute; largest leaf blades typically obtuse to rounded at apex, inner edges of basal lobes well separated or divergent in life, sinus > 1/4 (often > 1/3) length of blade, margins low-serrate with noticeable teeth; petioles and peduncles not red-tinged or -spotted; lateral petals bearded; cleistogamous capsules 7-14 mm long; seeds 1.6-2.2 × 1.0-1.3 mm, light to medium brown; [widely distributed in northeastern region, most common at lower elevations]