Wild pansy, Johnny Jump-Up, Love-in-Idleness
Viola 'Heartsease' is an easy-to-grow, hardy annual and common wildflower of Europe. The flower looks like a dainty, miniature pansy with five petals which vary in colour, but are mostly purple with some white and yellow.
Violas have a wide range of culinary uses, but are most known for being sugared to create beautiful edible cake decorations, and for being scattered over salads.
Average height: 12cm
Aspect: Sun or part shade
Soil type: Most soil conditions, but prefers moist, well-drained soil
Sowing period: March to May, or August to September
First signs of blossom: 6 - 8 weeks
Average flowering period: 5 - 6 months
Contents: Approximately 50 seeds
Viola 'Heartsease' is a beneficial Fritillary caterpillar food plant, and its nectar is also used by bees and adult butterflies.
Continuous harvesting of flowers for eating, and deadheading by pinching out the flower at the base of the stem, will promote further flowering. Cut back leggy plants which should then regenerate later in the season.