Common Names: Pansy, Garden Pansy, Ladies' Delight, Johnny Jump Up

Botanical names: Viola X wittrockiana, V. X wittrockiana tricolor, VI-o-la, more commonly vi-O-la

Availability: Spring, Year round

Vase life: As a cut flower, 4 to 8 days. As a flowering plant, two weeks or more.

Storage temperatures: 34 - 36 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Small, delicate blossoms, 1 to 2 inches across, known for their distinctive appearance sometimes described as "upturned faces". The flowers have heart-shaped petals with overlapping layers, giving them a somewhat ruffled or layered look.

Color: Pansies come in a variety of colors, including shades of purple, yellow, orange, blue, and white, often with darker markings on the petals that create intricate patterns.

Botanical facts: The name "pansy" is believed to have originated from the French word "pensée," which means "thought" or "remembrance." This association likely stems from the flower's historical significance in Victorian flower language, where it symbolized loving thoughts or "thinking of you." Over time, the name "pensée" evolved into "pansy" in English.

Design notes: Pansies have very short stems. Designers often use small potted plants, with the pots decoratively wrapped and extenders to elevate the plants in an arrangement. The cluster of flowers creates a beautiful focal area. The short stems can be cut and inserted into water tubes with extenders.

Purchasing hints: Purchase whole plants with 50 percent of the blossoms open.

Conditioning: Water pansies regularly. One of the most common reasons pansies fail is that they are not watered enough.

Additional notes: Pansies are sometimes used in culinary applications, such as garnishing salads or desserts, due to their beautiful edible petals.