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Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Little Flower - The Pansy

This little happy looking garden pansies are grown in winter season. But it appears that spring has already arrived in my home garden. With other seasonal flowers, I can see them taking prominent place in the garden.

The pansy is a perennial that is mostly grown as an annual plant.

A close look at this flower tells you that it resembles like a human face. And this is a reason why name Pansy is derived from the French word pensée meaning "thought", or "remembrance".


The pansy flower has two top petals overlapping slightly, two side petals, beards where the three lower petals join the center of the flower, and a single bottom petal with a slight indentation.

These vibrant colour flowers are easy to grow and provide a burst of colour in your home.



Its scientific name is Viola x wittrockiana. The pansy is linked forever to the viola, its ancestor and this is a reason why these two names are often interchangeable. Viola is a large genus containing 500 species.

The hardy but delicate viola was cultivated by the Greeks for herbal medicinal use and much later inspired William Shakespeare to write of romance.




Uses of Pansies

Both the leaves and flowers of pansies and violas are edible and high in vitamins A and C.

The flowers impart a strong flavor and have been used to make syrup, flavored honey and salads. Both the leaves and flowers can be used as a garnish, such as on cold fruit or cream soups. The flowers are also useful as a dye.

All Photographs by me from my home garden in Multan.

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