image S. Reid
The pansy is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. It is derived by hybridization from several species in the section Melanium of the genus Viola, particularly Viola tricolor, a wildflower of Europe and western Asia known as heartsease.
Pansies are cheerful colourful flowers with ‘faces’ and heart-shaped, overlapping petals. Pansies have one of the widest ranges of bright pretty colours and patterns in the flower world.
They are great for hanging baskets, pots, borders and even as a ground cover. Pansies can be treated as either an annual or a perennial. Having said that though, most gardeners treat them as an annual.