Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 10–45 cm. Stems 1–3+, ascending to erect, leafless proximally, leafy distally, glabrous or puberulent, from subligneous rhizome. Leaves basal and cauline; basal: 0–4; stipules ovate to lanceolate, margins entire, coarsely toothed, or crenate, apex acute or obtuse; petiole 2.7–19.6 cm, lanceolate, margins ciliate or eciliate, auricles 0.1–0.5 mm; petals lemon-yellow on both surfaces, lower 3 brownish purple-veined, lateral 2 and sometimes others, bearded, lowest 8–18 mm, spur yellow to greenish, gibbous, 1–2.5 mm; style head bearded; cleistogamous flowers axillary. Capsules ellipsoid, 8–12(–20) mm, glabrous or tomentose. Seeds brown, 1.8–3 mm. 2n = 12.
"Plants 1–4.5 dm from a short, stout, densely scaly, light brown or yellowish rhizome, softly hairy throughout, varying to essentially glabrous; lvs 2–4 near the top, often accompanied by 1–several long-petiolate, reniform-cordate radical lvs; cauline lvs orbicular- ovate to broadly ovate, short-pointed, crenate-dentate, with cordate or truncate-decurrent base, 4–10 cm, usually a little wider than long; stipules broadly ovate; stem often with 1 or 2 stipule-like sheathing bracts well above the base; fls on slender, axillary peduncles; pet clear yellow with brown-purple veins near the base, the lateral ones bearded; style bearded at the capitate summit; frs 10–12 mm, woolly or glabrous; seeds pale brown; 2n=12. Rich woods, or sometimes in meadows; N.S. to Man. and N.D., s. to S.C., Ga., La., and Tex. Apr.–June. (V. pensylvanica; V. eriocarpa, the more glabrate phase)"