Any of several popular cultivated violets (genus Viola). Pansies have been grown for so long under such diverse conditions with such striking variations in colour and form that their origin is uncertain. Probably the garden pansy (V. wittrockiana) is a cultivated form of V. tricolor, a weed of European grainfields. Annuals or short-lived perennials, pansies grow 6–12 in. (15–30 cm) tall and have heart-shaped leaves at the base and oblong leaves growing from the stems. Velvety flowers occur in combinations of blue, yellow, and white. The smaller, usually purple, wild pansy is also known as Johnny-jump-up, heartsease, and love-in-idleness.
Pansy (Viola tricolor)—Kitty Kohout/Root Resources
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on pansy, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up pansy? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.