Latin: Viola tricolor

Other names: Heartsease, wild pansy

Family: Violaceae

Pansy is a common weed found in the United Kingdom that belongs to the violet family (Violaceae). It is also known as heartsease or wild pansy. Pansy is a small, herbaceous plant that is often considered a wildflower or a cultivated garden flower. It can be identified by its distinctively colored flowers and rounded leaves.

Pansy is an annual or short-lived perennial plant that typically grows close to the ground, reaching heights of up to 20 centimeters.

Identifying Pansy

Pansy possesses several distinct features that help distinguish it from other similar-looking plants. The flowers of pansy are its most recognizable feature. They come in a wide range of colors and often display distinct patterns and markings, including blotches, lines, or “faces” on the petals. The flowers have five petals, with the lower petal often larger and broader than the others.

The leaves of pansy are rounded or heart-shaped, with serrated or scalloped edges. They are typically arranged in a basal rosette, close to the ground. The stems are usually short and produce multiple flowers.

The Challenges of Pansy

Pansy can be a problematic weed in gardens, lawns, and agricultural fields. Although it is often cultivated as an ornamental flower, wild pansy or escaped garden pansies can become weedy and compete with desired plants. Pansy can also self-seed and spread rapidly if not managed effectively.

One of the challenges with pansy is its ability to produce abundant seeds. These seeds can remain viable in the soil for several years, leading to persistent populations of pansy.