So far this has been a great flower year in Frogpond Hollow. I'm sure the frequent rain falls are a factor. Members of the violet family are among the first to appear, especially at the forest edges just behind the house.
I decided to be a little more energetic this year in labeling my photos of violets. To save time I usually just use color and date when I'm uploading from the camera, but in some cases, the holler grows different species sharing the same color.
Though I'm still learning to accurately differentiate the species, here's how I understand them so far...
The Halberdleaf violets (Viola hastata) are usually the first flowers I see every year, which leads to much jumping for joy. I see most of the Halberdleaf yellows along forest edge spaces on the creek-side of my driveway. It's also drier, though, because of the elevation above Frogpond Hollow. I have never seen this species in the shadier, wetter parts of the property.
I'm pretty sure this is a Woodland Violet (Viola pubescens) that I saw last year. Their leaves are "narrowly to broadly ovate" and I think this would be more obvious had this ones leaves not been chewed on by something. Generally I find these at forest edges furthest from the creek. I didn't see this species this year. I suspect that if they came up, it was under a pile of brush and house projects scraps that I haven't moved yet.
I thought I got a photo of another of the four Tennessee yellow violets -- the Round Leaf Yellow Violet (Viola rotundifolia) -- two or three years ago, but can't find it. I'm pretty sure they grow here in the hollow.
This one is a Marsh Blue Violet (Viola culculatta) -- I think. One of the things I want to do next is get a photo looking down at the whole "eye" to see if that helps me to differentiate this species. Lots of them are still out -- just waiting for some sun to get a good photo.
The Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is the one I get mixed up with the Marsh Blue. I think these come out earlier, especially lower down holler and in my neighbor's field.
Longspur Violets (Viola rostrata) -- yet another purple-blue family member -- are not hard to differentiate even at a distance because of the spur extending backward from the lower petal.
Tennessee has four white violet species, but the Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda) is the only one I've identified in the holler. I'm seeing quite a few of these this year, but the number of places they show up is limited to a wetter part of the holler in the Hudson Branch drainage. My go-to Tennessee flower guide lists this species as "occasional".