Acaulescent, with a short, oblique to erect rootstock, downy throughout, varying to glabrous except for the appressed-hairy upper surface of the lvs; lvs tending to be evergreen, often color-patterned, flat on the ground or nearly so, spreading out to form a rosette, relatively small, the blade 1.5-7.5 cm, broadly cordate-ovate to cordate-orbicular or reniform-cordate, usually obtuse or rounded above, commonly with a narrow basal sinus, all merely crenate or subentire; stipules entire to fimbriate; fls short-pedunculate, violet, 1.5-2 cm wide, the pet relatively narrow and mostly directed forward, so that the fls seldom appear fully open, the 3 lower pet bearded, the spur large and globose; cleistogamous fls on prostrate to erect peduncles; frs ovoid or ovoid-cylindric; seeds brown; 2n=54. Dry or well drained, often sandy soil in open woods and clearings; se. U.S. from Fla. to Tex., n. to Va., Tenn., and s. Ind., and occasionally to N.Y. and s. Conn. Apr., May. (V. hirsutula, the form with the lvs glabrous beneath)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.