Year of the Pansy

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Origin: United Kingdom and Europe

Family: Violaceae

Genus: Viola

Uses: An annual bedding plant, pansies are used for garden decoration in cooler growing seasons.

Categories: Large (3-4 inches), Medium (2-3 inches), Multiflora (1-2 inches), Trailing

Fun Facts: Pansies are edible and pair well with lettuces. They can be candied and used to decorate sweets or other dishes.

A Bit of History: Pansies are forever linked to the viola, its ancestor — a large genus containing 500 species. Violas were familiar to people living in Greece in the 4th century B.C. The center of origin for violas was continental Europe. The hardy but delicate viola was cultivated by the Greeks for herbal medicinal use and much later inspired William Shakespeare to write of romance.

Breeders: Ernst Benary, PanAmerican Seed, Sakata, Syngenta /Goldsmith Seeds, Takii and Co. Ltd.

Source: National Garden Bureau.

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