on a garden tour, I noticed a ground cover the homeowner identified as a type of violet ground cover. The leaf is quite interesting and I am wondering about the actual plant name.
Patterning and shape of the leaves looks more like a cyclamen. Can't think of any in the violet family with that sort of markings.
Here is a link that might be useful: cyclamen foliage
I agree the leaves look like cyclamen, but I am not aware that cyclamen can be winter hardy perennial in Minnesota! That is why I am so interested in identifying this plant. The home owner received a start of this from a friend who identified it as a violet, and she planted it in a shady walk area where it is spreading nicely between stepping stones and moving into flower beds in the area.
It is a sort of Japanese Species of Violet. Name escapes me. Am unsure if I can tell Nursery names in these posts, but Lazy S's Nursery might be listing and describing it, this year.
There are many cyclamen varieties that are cold-hardy, (unlike the Florist Cycalmen that most are familiar with). They grow from tubers and die back in the winter.
I believe the plant pictured is a Cyclamen not a violet.
bogturtle, I think you are correct :-)) It IS a violet, Viola grypoceras var. exilis, aka cyclamen-leaved violet.
And yes, hardy cyclamen will grow in MN - good to zone 4.
Here is a link that might be useful: cyclamen leafed violet
Thank you! The link provided matches. The plant is also known as a Korean violet. I googled Korean violet and the botanical name matches the one you provided.