Viola canadensis Linnaeus. Section: Chamaemelanium. Phen: Chasmogamous flower Apr-Jul; chasmogamous fruit May-Jul; cleistogamous fruit Jul-Aug. Hab: Rich cove forests, other rich mesic situations, such as floodplains. Dist: NL (Newfoundland) to ON, south to GA, AL, TN, and AR.
ID notes:This species and V. rugulosa appear to be the only species in our region with the usually conspicuous seed caruncle obsolete, as well as the only species besides the pansies of sect. Melanium to have two-toned corollas (white petals with yellow throat). This species will most often be confused with V. rugulosa, which appears not to grow at the same sites where their ranges slightly overlap in the western Midwest, and also with V. eriocarpa and V. striata, with which it often grows. It differs from V. rugulosa in usually lacking long-creeping stoloniform rhizomes (thus, it is not colonial or mat-forming) (some Southern Appalachian populations of V. canadensis do display this but are otherwise identical to V. canadensis), glabrous to sparsely hirtellous foliage, glabrous peduncles, long-acuminate upper leaf blades, shallowly cordate basal leaf blades, and lanceolate usually eciliate sepals. It can be distinguished from the other two species with which it often grows, from V. striata in its membranous attenuate entire stipules which are commonly deciduous in summer, remotely crenate-serrate leaf blade margins, very short rounded auricles, and yellow corolla throat. It can be separated in fruit from V. eriocarpa, with which it often grows, in the commonly deciduous membranous attenuate entire often deciduous stipules.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Other related species are more western and/or northern.
Synonymy: = F, G, S, Ballard, Kartesz, & Nishino (2023); = Viola canadensis L. var. canadensis – Ar, C, FNA6, K1, K3, K4, NE, Va, Ballard () (in prep), Haines (2001); < Viola canadensis L. – Mi, Pa, Tn, W, McKinney & Russell (2002); > Viola canadensis L. var. canadensis – RAB; > Viola canadensis L. var. rugulosa (Greene) C.L.Hitchc. – RAB, misapplied as to plants in our area