One of our most common violets in the woodlands of Pittsylvania County usually turns out to be the Palmate-leaf Violet. This is often true when it comes to classifying the violets with conspicuous leaf lobes; of course, there are several exceptions to this generality, since nature has no obvious limits to its creation of species variation.
Anyone really interested in becoming familiar with violets should consult any good book on your local flora. Be aware that up-to-date floral manuals have adopted a simpler and less complicated approach to the classification of violets.
I have spent about 40 years observing different violet species, and still I learn something new about violets every summer season.
(See also this photograph in larger format.)
Copyright © 2007 William T. Hathaway.