Who doesn’t love pansies? They’re friendly, colorful, beautiful, and (best of all) great for growing in the Colorado climate! If you’re looking for a flower to brighten up your garden, consider planting pansies. With myriad varieties to choose from, one may be more suited for your garden than another. Here’s what makes each of our favorite five pansy varieties unique:
The Blotch Pansy
The blotch pansy is arguably the most popular of pansy varieties. The flowers have petals with a number of vibrant colors — from yellow to blue to red — all with a dark purple “blotch” on their faces. They grow relatively close to the ground, with short stems that lead to bright splotches of color peeping out among other flowers or just over ground cover.
The Clear Pansy
These pansies are referred to as ‘clear’ because they have no face, just one uniform color. They were bred in the late 1800s by a Scottish grower and, after being sent overseas, became the most popular flower in North America. The clear pansy is still celebrated for its beauty that makes your flowerbed look almost like a cutout of a watercolor painting.
The Mammoth Pansy
The mammoth pansy was bred to stand out and be the highlight of your garden — to create a burst of color, rather than just to give a hint of it. The robust stems of these pansies stretch an average of six to eight inches off the ground, and their roots branch out to easily fill a pot or populate a garden bed.
The Whiskers Pansy
Visually fascinating, the whiskers pansy is aptly named. Fanning out from the center of its vibrantly colored petals are delicate, little lines resembling animal whiskers. Until recently, when agriculturalists discovered how to create the design through hybridization, the whiskers pansy had only been found in open fields. This particular pansy comes in a medium size that varies depending on its color: The purple-white, white, and yellow hues grow an average of two-and-a-half to three inches for each flower, while light-blue, orange, and red-gold are slightly smaller at two to two-and-a-half inches.
The Viola Tricolor Pansy
All pansies are related to the viola flower, and the beginning of their cultivation history goes all the way back to ancient Greece, where they were originally used for medicinal purposes. The viola tricolor pansy is one of the earliest pansy varieties, which bears a lot of similarities to the viola, but is markedly unique for two reasons: it grew from one, main stem and branched out above ground — as opposed to the viola, which branched below ground — and its flower is larger and rounder than the viola. The viola tricolor is known by a number of endearing names, including “heartsease,” “come-and-cuddle-me,” and “love-in-idleness,” but because it is really the progenitor of every other pansy (including the other four on this list), it may be most simply referred to as the “wild pansy.”
Because of their ability to withstand frost, pansies are perfect for the somewhat unpredictable Colorado weather. They can make for perfect flowers to wedge between walls and paths, and their vibrant colors and wide array of designs make it so they work well with many other flowers you’re looking to showcase in your garden. Their hardiness makes them perfect for planting much of the year. To get started, come down to City Floral Garden Center, and take a tour of our pansy selection!