This is another form of heartleaf ginger. The plants pictured on this page are sporting new spring leaves: glossy and dark green. Later they can become frosted with white.
The leaves are 2 to 3 inches wide and up to 6 inches tall, and as the name implies, they are heart-shaped. Unlike little heartleaf, which tends to grow as a single leaf or a haphazard group, this species makes striking, dense clumps that make them a favorite of gardeners. Crushing the leaf or stem produces a ginger-like smell.
Virginia heartleaf flowers appear early in the spring (April-May) but they are mostly invisible: they grow very low to the ground are often covered by leaf litter. If you are willing to dig around for them, you will see that the flower is a brown-to reddish-purple cylinder with three tiny lobes–they look like little jugs. Click on any of the photos below for a larger view.
Look for Virginia heartleaf in deciduous and mixed forests. These were photographed near Big Stoney Creek in the Jefferson National Forest (in the Glen Alton area).