Sp. Pl. 2: 934. 1753.
Plants perennial, acaulescent, stoloniferous, (3–)5–20(–36) cm; stolons pale, often rooting and leafy at nodes; rhizome thick or slender, fleshy. Leaves basal, 4–8, prostrate to ascending; stipules linear-lanceolate, margins ± crenate-serrate, sometimes glandular, apex acute; petiole (1–)3–13(–29) cm, glabrous or pubescent; blade unlobed, elliptic to narrowly or broadly ovate, (1.5–)3–7(–9) × 1–3(–3.5) cm, longer than wide, base broadly cordate to attenuate, rarely ± truncate, margins crenulate to serrulate, sometimes glandular, mostly eciliate, apex acute to rounded, mucronulate, surfaces glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Peduncles (3–)6–18(–28) cm, glabrous. Flowers: sepals lanceolate to ovate, margins usually eciliate, auricles 1–2 mm; petals white on both surfaces, lower 3 purple-veined, lateral 2 bearded or beardless, lowest 9–14(–16) mm, spur white, gibbous, 1–2 mm; style head beardless; cleistogamous flowers present or absent. Capsules ellipsoid, (5–)8–9 mm, glabrous. Seeds beige to bronze, 1.5–2 mm. 2n = 24.
Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., D.C., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Maine, Mass., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., N.C., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., Vt., W.Va.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).
Viola primulifolia occurs in small colonies; individual plants are interconnected by stolons.
|1||Leaf blades elliptic to widely ovate, base broadly cordate to attenuate, surfaces sparsely pubescent, rarely glabrous; cleistogamous flowers present; c, e United States.||Viola primulifolia var. primulifolia|
|1||Leaf blades elliptic to narrowly ovate, base usually attenuate, rarely ± truncate, surfaces glabrous, rarely pubescent; cleistogamous flowers absent; nw California, sw Oregon.||Viola primulifolia var. occidentalis|