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Viola pubescens  W.T. Aiton
Cherokee County, Kansas
Height: 4-16 inches
Family: Violaceae - Violet Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Downy yellow violet, yellow forest-violet.
Stems: Erect or decumbent, 1-several, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; stipules, prominent, leafless, on lower 1/2.
Leaves: Basal leaves 0-5, long stalked, kidney-shaped to broadly egg-shaped; stem leaves 2-4, broadly heart- to egg-shaped, 1.5 to 4 inches long, up to 1/2 inch wider than long, pubescent to glabrous; margins shallow- or sharp-toothed; tips short-pointed; stalks shorter to longer than leaves, softly-hairy to glabrous; stipules broadly egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2/5 to 3/5 inch long.
Inflorescences: Solitary flowers in leaf axils; stalks shorter to longer than leaves, pubescent to glabrous.
Flowers: Sepals 5, 1/4 to 2/5 inch long, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, tips blunt or pointed, margins white, pubescent to glabrous; petals 5, 3/10 to 1/2 inch long, yellow; lower 3 with brownish-purple veins near bases; lateral 2 bearded; lowermost petal swollen on 1 side; stamens 5; small, closed, self-pollinating flowers also occur in upper axils.
Fruits: Capsules, oblong-ovoid, 3/10 to 3/4 inch long, dark green to yellowish-green, conspicuously woolly to sparsely pubescent or glabrous; seeds numerous, tan to brown.
Habitat: Low woodlands, thickets, and along stream banks; rarely in the open.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans used an infusion made from yellow violet to treat coughs, colds, and dysentery; a poultice of leaves for headaches; and soaked corn seeds in an infusion of the roots prior to planting to ward off insects.
Comments: One of the first flowers of spring.

Smooth yellow violet flower
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Smooth yellow violet leaves
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Smooth yellow violet sepals
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Cherokee County, Kansas