three-lobe violet, wood violet,
early blue violet
Viola palmata, formerly V. triloba
As I’ve written before, violet ID can be tricky, because they hybridize freely and because the taxonomists are always changing the names.
With leaves like this, though, it seems a safe bet to say this is three-lobe violet. The older guidebooks name it Viola triloba, and you’ll still find references to that on-line, but per ITIS it’s now considered V. palmata.
USDA lists both V. triloba and a hybrid, V. x palmata, with different ranges, so it’s no use reporting on that, other than to say that this violet, whatever species it is, is found primarily in the eastern part of the country.
I found these about halfway up Sugarloaf Mountain, on the west side, growing by the ones or twos in patches of rue anemone.
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