Plants perennial, acaulescent, stoloniferous, 3–21.5 cm; stolons pale, often rooting and leafy at nodes; rhizome slender, fleshy. Leaves basal, 2–4, ascending to erect; stipules linear-lanceolate, margins entire, apex acute; petiole 1–17 cm, glabrous; blade unlobed, reniform or ovate to orbiculate, 0.5–6.4 × 0.5–5.5 cm, ± as long as wide, base cordate, margins crenulate, eciliate, apex obtuse to acuminate, surfaces glabrous. Peduncles 2–20.7 cm, glabrous, bracteoles usually below middle in chasmogamous flowers. Flowers: sepals ovate or lanceolate, margins eciliate, auricles 1–2 mm; petals lilac, pale blue, or pale violet on both surfaces, sometimes nearly white and tinged with lilac, lowest and sometimes lateral 2 dark violet-veined, lateral 2 bearded or beardless, lowest 8–16 mm, spur usually same color as petals, gibbous, 1–3 mm; style head beardless cleistogamous flowers on ascending peduncles. Capsules ellipsoid, 6–10 mm, glabrous. Seeds dark brown, 1–2 mm. 2n = 48.
"Delicate, glabrous plants from a long, slender rhizome, also stoloniferous; lvs thin, 2.5–3.5 cm wide, orbicular to reniform, crenulate, cordate or subcordate at base, the basal sinus wider than in no. 11 [Viola selkirkii Pursh]; fls 1.5 cm wide; pet pale lilac or lavender (or nearly white) with purple veins, the lateral ones sparsely bearded, the spur 2 mm; style dilated upwards in a vertical plane, with a conic beak on the lower side, the stigma within the tip of the beak, as in the next 6 spp.; frs 5–6 mm, green, ellipsoid; seeds buff; 2n=24, 48. Wet or moist places; circumboreal, in Amer. from Lab. to Alas., s. to the alpine regions of Me. and N.H., Manitou Isl., Mich., and in the West to Colo. and Calif. June–Aug. (V. epipsila, the diploid, including the Michigan plants)"
|Northern marsh or marsh or swamp or alpine marsh violet, violette des marais|