National Garden Bureau Declares 2017 Year of the Pansy

Is it a weed or a flower? Until the 19th century most people considered the now popular pansy a weed.  In recognition of its beauty, diversity, versatility and easy-grow nature the National Garden Bureau declared 2017 the year of the pansy.

Viola, violet and pansy are often commonly used names. Grow them in the garden, containers or hanging baskets for added color in spring and fall.

Garden pansies  (Viola x wittrockiana) are a hybrid of wildflowers native to Europe and western Asia. They grow best in the cooler weather of spring and fall where winters are harsh and fall through spring in milder climates.

Try adding a few of the colorful petals to your salad, candy a few to decorate your favorite dessert or freeze the blooms in ice cube trays and serve in a glass of sparkling water.

A bit more information: The many common names for this plant has led to confusion on what truly is a pansy.  The American Violet Society has classified pansies as having large flowers with two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, a single bottom petal and a slight beard in the center.

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