Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 149. 1803.
Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 5–30 cm. Stems 1(–2), erect, leafless proximally, leafy distally, glabrous or sparsely puberulent, from fleshy rhizome. Leaves basal and cauline; basal: 0–1; stipules ovate to lanceolate, margins laciniate with gland-tipped projections, apex usually acuminate; petiole 3–11.5 cm, usually glabrous; blade sometimes gray-green abaxially, usually mottled light green adaxially, widely or narrowly hastate to ovate, 2.5–4.4 × 1.8–3.2 cm, base hastate to cordate or truncate, margins serrate or crenate, ciliate or eciliate, apex acute, surfaces usually glabrous, sometimes scabrous; cauline similar to basal except: leaves usually restricted to distal ends of naked stems; petiole 1–2.5 cm; blade 2–10 × 1.1–4.5 cm. Peduncles 1–5.3 cm, usually glabrous. Flowers: sepals lanceolate to ovate, margins mostly eciliate, auricles 0.5–1 mm; petals lemon-yellow usually on both surfaces, lower 3 and sometimes upper 2 brownish purple-veined, lateral 2 bearded, lowest 9.5–12 mm, spur yellow to greenish, gibbous, 0.5–2 mm; style head bearded; cleistogamous flowers axillary. Capsules ovoid to ellipsoid, 6–8 mm, glabrous. Seeds beige to bronze, 2–2.5 mm. 2n = 12.
Phenology: Flowering late Mar–May.
Habitat: Rich woods, chiefly mountains and piedmont
Elevation: 50–2000 m
Ala., Ga., Ky., Md., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
V. B. Baird (1942) commented that Viola hastata is more closely related to V. glabella than to any eastern species.