Plant: perennial herb; 2-27 cm tall; stems branched, clustered on short, vertical rootstalks, at first short, usually elongating later in season, erect to spreading or compressed, suberect in shade, depressed in sun; usually partly buried; upper stems usually puberulent, the lower ones glabrate Leaves: simple, basal and cauline, the blades glabrous to puberulent, the margins ciliate; basal leaf petioles 2-17 cm long, the blades 1.5-9 cm long, 10-25 mm wide, ovate, lanceolate to elliptic, entire, sinuate, or subserrate, the base attenuate, cuneate, or truncate, the tip obtuse to acute; cauline leaf petioles 0.7-7 cm long, the blades 1.4-7.2 cm long, 5-18 mm wide, ovate, lanceolate to elliptic, entire, sinuate, or subserrate, the base attenuate, the tip acute INFLORESCENCE: axillary, the pedicels to 13 cm long Flowers: sepals to 8 mm long; petals yellow on the face, the lower 3 brown- to purple-veined, the upper 2 usually brownish purple on back, the lateral 2 petals bearded, the lowest petal (including spur) 9-13 mm long, the spur gibbous Fruit: FRUITS ca. 5 mm long, glabrous; SEEDS ca. 15-20, usually ovoid, with a prominent caruncle Misc: Sagebrush flats; 1650-1850 m (5500-6000 ft); Apr-Jun REFERENCES: Little, R. John. Violaceae. 2001. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).
Finely hairy to subglabrous, with numerous ascending stems to 1(-1.5) dm from a stout, deep-seated rhizome; stems bearing lvs and fls from near the base; lf- blades mostly lanceolate or lance-elliptic, varying to sometimes lance-ovate, 2-6 cm, tapering (seldom more abruptly contracted) to petioles nearly or quite as long, mostly (2-)2.5-6 times as long as wide; fls 1-1.5 cm wide, the pet yellow, with brown-purple lines near the base and often purplish-tinged outside, the lateral pet beardless or slightly bearded; style-head bearded; frs subglobose or ellipsoid, 6-8 mm; 2n=24. Prairies and plains; widespread in the w. cordillera and e. onto the Great Plains, reaching Kans., Nebr., S.D., and w. Minn. Apr.-July. The plains plants, as here described, are var. nuttallii. Several other vars., differing in ploidy-level and in form, size, and vestiture of the lvs, occur farther w.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.