Plants perennial, acaulescent, not stoloniferous, 5–15 cm; rhizome thick, fleshy. Leaves basal, 4–9, prostrate to ascending; stipules linear-lanceolate, margins entire, apex acute; petiole 3–10 cm, densely pubescent; blade unlobed, reniform or ovate to elliptic, 1–8 × 1–5.5 cm, base cordate, margins serrate, ciliate, apex rounded to acute, mucronulate, surfaces densely pubescent. Peduncles 4–10 cm, puberulent. Flowers: sepals lanceolate to ovate, margins ciliate, auricles 1–2 mm; petals light to dark blue-violet on both surfaces, lower 3 white basally and dark violet-veined, lateral 2 bearded, spur sometimes bearded, lowest 10–20 mm, spur usually white, gibbous, 2–3 mm; style head beardless; cleistogamous flowers on ascending to erect peduncles. Capsules ellipsoid, 6–10 mm, glabrous. Seeds beige, mottled to bronze, or dark brown, 1.5–2 mm. 2n = 54.
Phenology: Flowering Apr–Jun.
Habitat: Sandy, pine-oak and pine-oak-hickory woods and disturbed ground
Elevation: 10–300 m
Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tex.
Much of the foliage of Viola villosa remains green throughout the winter (V. B. Baird 1942).