Flowers white to bluish white, often nodding at the ends of stems. Tepals (petals and sepals) recurve, or bend backwards, as the flower ages. Flowering is restricted to 2-leaved plants. Blooms March–May. Leaves to 6 inches long, elliptical, mottled dull green and brown with a silvery coating. This plant is sometimes called “thousand-leaf” because, in large colonies, literally thousands of leaves cover the ground. Root a corm. It takes at least 4 years to raise a flowering plant from seed.
Similar species: Prairie dogtooth violet, E. mesochoreum (also called “white dogtooth violet”), is found mainly south of the Missouri River in dry places, glades, and prairies. The tepals do not recurve, the leaves are narrow and without mottling, and the single leaves of nonflowering plants do not appear until after flowering and are few.