HALBERD-LEAVED VIOLET (Viola hastata) belongs to the Violet family
This violet is so named because its leaf resembles a halberd which is a medieval ax designed to split a helmet. The medieval halberd was actually a handle, “helm” (old French word for handle) which at the end had a “barte” on it (old French word for ax). It is ironic that such a tiny, delicate, beautiful plant would have such a ferocious name. The halberd leaved violet leaf is dark bluish green and variegated which, along with the peculiar shape of the leaves, makes it an easy violet to identify.
Compare with the little Round-leaved violet which is also plentiful in the area.
Round-Leaved Yellow Violet (Viola rotundifolia)
Click here for a PDF printable page Halberd-leaved violet