Very early flowering Violet with bright yellow flowers, measured to 2 cm in diameter, side petals somewhat bearded. Flower has a short spur 3 mm long. Flower stems grow from the leaf axils. Many leaves from a central rootstock, leaf margins with with short hairs, and petioles with very short hairs. Leaves are lanceolate tapering at base, 7.5 cm long with petiole, 1 cm wide. Leaf blades usually 3 times as long as wide. Flowering stems have leaves, but these are often only apparent when the plant is dug up, otherwise the flowering stems appear leafless from the crown.
Common on open prairie and hillsides.
We measured scapes to 9 cm tall.
This plant is very similar to another early-flowering violet - Viola vallicola. According to The Flora of Canada the two can be distinguished by the shape of their leaves. The leaves of Viola vallicola are ovate, with cordate or truncate bases, and the leaves usually less than 3 times as long as wide. While the leaves of Viola nuttallii are lanceolate, with tapering bases, and usually at least 3 times as long as wide.
Photos taken April 29th, slopes of the Souris River valley, Buffalo Grass Eco Reserve, 200 km SE of Regina, and May 9th, steep, dry slopes of the Big Muddy, about 200 km south of our home in Regina, SK.