Viola minuscula Greene. Section: Plagiostigma. Subsection: Stolonosae. Phen: Chasmogamous flower Apr-Jul; chasmogamous fruit May; cleistogamous fruit Jun-Sep. Hab: Brookbanks, seepages. Dist: NL (Labrador) west to NT, south to GA, AL, MS, MO, SD, CO, UT, NV, and CA.
ID notes: This species is most similar to other Stolonosae violets with leaf blades nearly as broad as to broader than long. It is distinguishable at any time from V. renifolia by its horizontal stoloniform rhizomes and leafy summer stolons and ascending suborbiculate to narrowly ovate glabrous leaf blades, and from V. palustris and V. suecica in its noncreeping rhizome, the leaves terminating the rhizome in a discrete rosette. Its glabrous leaf blades (occasionally with hirtellous petioles) and subentire to very shallowly crenate margins, unspotted cleistogamous capsule on an erect peduncle, and small dark brown to blackish seeds distinguish it from V. blanda and V. incognita.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Reexamination of the lectotype of the basionym V. rotundifolia var. pallens Banks ex A.P. de Candolle has shown it to be a member of the V. palustris complex (Ballard pers. comm.); the first available validly published name is V. minuscula Greene. There seems to be no rational basis for the recently fashionable treatment of regarding V. pallens as synonymous with or only infraspecifically distinct from the narrowly distributed V. macloskeyi, of CA, OR and e. NV. Ballard et al. (2001; in prep.; pers. comm. 2014) suggest that Hispaniolan V. domingensis Urban is conspecific with V. minuscula.
Synonymy: = Ballard, Kartesz, & Nishino (2023); = Viola macloskeyi F.E.Lloyd ssp. pallens (Banks ex DC.) M.S.Baker – Il, K1, K3, K4, Pa, W, Haines (2001), misapplied; = Viola macloskeyi F.E.Lloyd var. pallens (Banks ex DC.) C.L.Hitchc. – C, RAB, Va, misapplied; = Viola pallens (Banks ex DC.) Brainerd – F, GW2, NE, S, WV, Ballard () (in prep), misapplied; < Viola macloskeyi F.E.Lloyd – FNA6, McKinney & Russell (2002); > Viola pallens (Banks ex DC.) Brainerd var. pallens – G, misapplied; > Viola pallens (Banks ex DC.) Brainerd var. subreptans Rousseaux – G