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Viola Ã— wittrockiana
Sun or partial shade
When to Plant
Front of the border
Pansies: A Field Guide
To Emily Dickinson, who loved flowers, a pansy was a “dear, old fashioned, little flower!” And by old-fashioned, the poet meant good things: faithful, resolute, and cheerful.
This is just the sort of flower we need to kick off spring. Perennial pansies are cousins to violets, as their botanical name
(Viola × wittrockiana) makes clear. Pansies’ diminutive, colorful flowers in bright shades of blue, purple, yellow, white, and orange self-sow freely and will pop up in unexpected spots in the garden next spring.
Don’t confuse pansies with their close relatives, other violas:
Viola cornuta and Viola tricolor have smaller flowers but make better ground covers (their habit is to grow in tight mats).