A flower with a “Face,” this is the Pansy flower known for. The blooms are fragrant and edible. Its ancestor flower is Viola, a large family that has more than 500 species. Pansy has five petals in a round shape. Some blooms are in a single color of either blue or yellow while some come with a black pattern similar to a line radiating outwards from the center of the bloom. The lines and patterns are common to viola genus and it is called penciling. To common people, this flower is called “heart’s-ease.”
History of Pansy
Pansy came from the French word “pensie” which means remembrance or thought. It has a scientific name of viola x wittrockiana. It has names of Pansy, Viola, and Violet that can be interchanged. On the other hand, there are certain distinctions that each one of these flowers possesses. The hybrid Pansies are those with large blooms consisting of four to five petals pointing upwards with dark-colored center known as face. Other Viola species come smaller and are most commonly perennials and annuals.
In the Late Middle English period, this plant was imported from France and was called viola. The name heart’s-ease was given by the people from St. Euphrasia, which was meant to signify cheerfulness of mind for the Greeks.
In countries like Scandinavia, Scotland, and Germany, this flower refers to “stepmother” following the aitiological tale. The tale was about a stepmother who was selfish. This flower is also called “flammola” in Italy, which means little flame.
In 1812, Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet introduced pansy flowers in the world of horticulture. It was the product of her cross-breeding project under her gardener, William Richardson. Following the introduction of this flower, many good florists and gardeners made their own cultivation. James, Lord Gambier with the guidance of William Thompson, his gardener, crossed yellow viola with plae yellow viola, thus produced hybrids of Pansies. Many further cultivation followed it resulting in modern hybrids of a wide range of Pansy varieties in different colors and bicolors such as yellow, orange, purple, violet, gold, white, and red.
Know Pansy Meaning
The flowers of Pansy mean a loving feeling, which refers to the emotions toward parents and siblings, or to someone special. Another meaning of this flower is remembrance or thought, which refers to the beautiful memories of someone special.
Pansies also symbolize consideration of someone’s feelings, as well as someone’s grief or sorrow and pain. Being the flower for the birth month of February, it represents being an open-minded and imaginative.
Based on color, yellow Pansy symbolizes joy and positive energy while the purple ones symbolize beauty and royalty. Red Pansies refer to love and romance while the white Pansies talk about purity, innocence, and spirituality. Orange Pansies mean happiness and optimism and Blue Pansy talks about loyalty and honesty.
Fun Facts of Pansy
Pansies are the flowers that love fall and winter seasons. They are among the cheerful blooms growing in the Mediterranean climates. The colorful annual blooms of Pansy come in a wide range of colors but with a distinct marking in the center that resembles a face.
There are three types of Pansies as products of cross-breeding and cultivation. They are the large-flowered Pansies, Johnny Jump Up types, and Panolas. Large-flowered type has larger blooms while the Johnny Jump Up type is smaller but heat-tolerant. The Panolas is similar to the second one since it is the product of crossed viola tricolor and Johnny Jump Up, but Panolas are larger.
Pansies are the type of flower that is not only colorful but edible as well. The minty flavor of its petals and blooms makes them ideal for flavored honey, syrup, and natural food coloring. They are used for cake decorations, cocktail garnishing, and for flavorings. They are rich in Vitamins A and C.
Pansies come in three different patterns. One variety of Pansies has a single color and without patterns, while another one has black lines. The third variety is the most complex one. It comes with dark splotches at the center that creates a resemblance of a face.
Pansies are known for their distinct fragrance but not all are naturally scented. Among the heavily scented Pansies are those in yellow and blue pansies. They are noticeably scented at dusk or early in the morning.
Total Care for Pansy
Pansies like to grow on moist, well-drained soil but not on soggy soil. They like to be under full or partial sun exposure but they need cooler weather to thrive in well. Mulching the soil will help keep them moist, especially during summer and warm weather. Fertilizers can be used to feed the plant once every two or three weeks and during the flowering stage. The best fertilizer for this type of plant is the water-soluble liquid fertilizer. If you want to let them grow taller and with more leaves but lesser blooms, fertilizers high in nitrogen are the ideal ones to use. If you want your plant to have more blooms, the florists suggest deadheading the plants regularly. Dead flowers and even the faded ones should be removed to encourage the plant to bloom more.
Pansies are among the favorite flowers for spring, fall and winter gardens. They add a splash of colors to the front yard. Aside from the colorful blooms, they are fragrant flowers that attract butterflies. Growing them in the garden creates a unique and natural landscape adornment to the garden. What is good about this plant is it can thrive in cold weather to bring beautiful blooms each year.