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Wild Pansy (Heartsease)

Key facts about Wild Pansy aka Heartsease

  • Height: 20-30cm
  • Flowering Time: April – July
  • Flower colour: Violet
  • Growth habit: Low growing
  • Habitat: Dry and disturbed areas, loves dunes, heaths and hills
  • Appears in: Meadowmat for Birds and Bees 

Description of the beautiful wild pansy

viola tricolor wild pansy

Most gardeners can recognise a pansy when they see one. The wild pansy is far more petite and delicate looking than their colourful cousins who adorn garden centres.

The wild pansy, also known as heartsease has pretty little flower heads with yellow centres. Their colour varies from blue-violet, to pale yellow and sometimes almost white. Petals should be longer than the sepals. If they’re not, you’re probably looking at a field pansy.

Where to use Wild Pansies

These beauties were once common place in the countryside. However, like so many other wild plants, the way we manage our fields and road verges has created conditions that wild pansies just don’t like.

Gardeners can help by letting them grow undisturbed in wildflower areas. If they love your garden, wild pansies, which are short-lived perennials, will self-seed and form wonderful colonies.

Wild pansy flowers are edible. Add them to your salads, cakes and desserts for extra colour. If you like crafting, these flowers are easy to preserve by pressing and can be used to decorate cards etc.

Medicine and Folklore

There are a wealth of stories about wild pansies in folklore and mythology. In general they are associated with love, death and rebirth.

Placing wild pansies under your pillow is said to attract a new lover. Planting them in a heart shape will help your relationship to thrive. The Celts used the dried leaves to create love potions.

Rumour has it that picking the flowers on a sunny day will cause a storm to come. Picking them whilst the dew is still on them will bring death to a loved one.

Medicinally, the name Heartsease comes from its use for heart conditions. Wild pansy is also used to relieve catarrh, arthritis, prostrate inflammation and cystitis as well as various skin conditions.

Find out about the other plants in Meadowmat for Birds and Bees

Soil type is important. Discover more about the best type of soil to grow wildflowers in