Common Name: Johnny-Jump-Up, Heartsease, Wild Pansy, Ladies' Delight, Jump-Up-And-Kiss-Me
Scientific Name:Viola tricolor
Jefferson recorded sowing seeds of "Tricolor" at Shadwell, his boyhood home, on April 2, 1767. It was grown in American gardens before 1700, although the first documented citation known is by John Lawson in History of Carolina (1718). Native over large areas of Europe and western Asia, this ancestor of our modern pansy has many common names, including wild pansy, ladies' delight, and jump-up-and-kiss-me. The name "pansy" derives from the French word pensée, an analogy used by Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet: "and there is pansies, that's for thoughts." Darker forms, including types with nearly black petals, such as -€˜Black Violet' and -€˜Bowle's Black', were selected by the late 19th century.
It is a hardy, spring-flowering perennial grown as an annual with charming, pansy-like flowers showing three colors in shades of purple, yellow, and white.
↑ This article is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.