Description from Flora of China
Viola pogonantha W. W. Smith; V. serpens Wallich ex Gingins; V. serpens subsp. gurhwalensis W. Becker; V. serpens var. pseudoscotophylla H. Boissieu.
Herbs perennial, acaulescent or with very short stem. Rhizome erect or obliquely ascending, 3-5 cm × 1.5-4 mm; internodes conspicuous. Stolon elongated, slender, glabrous, with evenly scattered leaves. Leaves nearly basal; stipules mostly free, brown or green, lanceolate, margin long or shortly fimbriate-dentate, apex long acuminate; petioles nearly as long as blades or lower ones much longer than blades, densely appressed hirsute, more densely hairy in upper part; leaf blade greenish on both surfaces, ovate or narrowly ovate, 2-6 × 1-3 cm, sparsely white stiffly hairy, more densely so along veins abaxially, base narrowly and deeply sinuate, lateral auricles conspicuous, margin densely and shallowly obtusely dentate, apex caudate-acuminate or acute. Flowers purplish or white, medium-sized; pedicels usually exceeding leaves, sparsely puberulous or subglabrous, 2-bracteolate above middle; bracteoles linear. Sepals lanceolate, 6-7.5 × ca. 2.5 mm, apex acute, basal auricles 2-2.5 mm, outside usually sparsely white puberulous, margin ciliate, apex remotely and shallowly dentate. Petals oblong-obovate, base narrower, lateral ones bearded, anterior one shorter, inside deep-colored veined; spur saccate, 2-2.5 mm, usually sparsely puberulous; spur of 2 anterior stamens ca. 1.5 mm, angular. Ovary usually puberulous; styles clavate, base slightly geniculate, gradually thickened upward; stigmas ± flat, not margined, very inconspicuously short beaked in front, with smaller stigma hole at tip of beak. Capsule subglobose, 5-10 mm, puberulous or glabrous. Seeds with dotted protuberances on surface, conspicuously appendaged on lower lateral side. Fl. Feb-Apr, fr. May-Sep. 2n = 20.
In FRPS (51: 90. 1991), the name Viola canescens Wallich was misapplied to this species.
Mountain forests, grasslands, roadsides; 800-3000 m. W Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, SE Xizang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Kashmir, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand].