Viola tricolor

Viola tricolor

color = lightgreen
name = Heartsease
status =


image_width = 240px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Malpighiales
familia = Violaceae
genus = "Viola"
species = "V. tricolor"
binomial = "Viola tricolor"
binomial_authority = L.
"Heartsease redirects here, for the place, see Heartsease, Powys or Heartsease, Norwich"

Heartsease ("Viola tricolor") is a common European wild flower, growing as an annual or short-lived perennial. It has been introduced into North America, where it has spread widely, and is known as the Johnny Jump Up (though this name is also applied to similar species such as the Yellow Pansy). It is the progenitor of the cultivated Pansy, and is therefore sometimes called Wild Pansy; before the cultivated Pansies were developed, "Pansy" was an alternative name for the wild form.Heartsease is a small plant of creeping habit, reaching at most 15 cm in height, with flowers about 1.5 cm in diameter. It grows in short grassland on farms and wasteland, chiefly on acid or neutral soils. It is usually found in partial shade. It flowers from April to September. The flowers can be purple, blue, yellow or white. They are hermaphrodite and self-fertile, pollinated by bees.

As its name implies, Heartsease has a long history of use in herbalism. It has been recommended, among other uses, as a treatment for epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and eczema. It has expectorant properties, and so has been used in the treatment of chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough. It is also a diuretic, leading to its use in treating rheumatism and cystitis.

The flowers have also been used to make yellow, green and blue-green dyes, while the leaves can be used to make a chemical indicator.

Long before cultivated pansies were developed, Heartsease was associated with thought in the "language of flowers", often by its alternative name of pansy (from the French "pensée" - thought): hence Ophelia's often quoted line in Shakespeare's "Hamlet", "There's pansies, that's for thoughts". What Shakespeare had in mind was Heartsease, not a modern garden pansy.

Shakespeare makes a more direct reference to Heartsease in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Oberon sends Puck to gather "a little western flower" that maidens call "Love-in-idleness". Oberon's account is that he diverted an arrow from Cupid's bow aimed at "a fair vestal, throned by the west" (supposedly Queen Elizabeth I) to fall upon the plant "before milk-white, now purple with love's wound". The "imperial vot'ress" passes on "fancy-free", destined never to fall in love. The juice of the heartsease now, claims Oberon, "on sleeping eyelids laid, Will make or man or woman madly dote Upon the next live creature that it sees." Equipped with such powers, Oberon and Puck control the fates of various characters in the play to provide Shakespeare's essential dramatic and comic structure for the play.

Heartsease has a large number of alternative colloquial names, up to two hundred.

Heartsease is also the title of a book in The Changes trilogy, written by Peter Dickinson.


External links

* [ Links to images, collected by the Texas A&M University Bioinformatics Working Group]
* [ Species information in the Plants for a Future database]
* [ Integrated Taxonomic Information System: "Viola arvensis"]
* [ USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service: Plants profile - "Viola tricolor" L. (johnny jumpup)]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Viola tricolor — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pensée sauvage. Pensée sauvage …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Viola tricolor —   Pensamiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Viola tricolor — ? Фиалка трёхцветная Фиалка трёхцветная. Общий вид цветущего рстения Научная классификация Царство: Растения …   Википедия

  • Viola tricolor — Heart s ease Heart s ease (h[aum]rts [=e]z ), n. 1. Ease of heart; peace or tranquillity of mind or feeling. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) A species of violet ({Viola tricolor}), a common and long cultivated European herb from which most common… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Viola tricolor — Violet Vi o*let, n. [F. violette a violet (cf. violet violet colored), dim. of OF. viole a violet, L. viola; akin to Gr. ?. Cf. {Iodine}.] 1. (Bot.) Any plant or flower of the genus {Viola}, of many species. The violets are generally low,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Viola tricolor — trispalvė našlaitė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Našlaitinių šeimos daržovinis, dekoratyvinis, maistinis, vaistinis augalas (Viola tricolor), paplitęs Europoje ir vakarų Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Viola tricolor angl. European wild pansy; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Viola tricolor — Pansy Pan sy, n.; pl. {Pansies}. [F. Pens[ e]e thought, pansy, fr. penser to think, L. pensare to weigh, ponder. See {Pensive}.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Viola} ({Viola tricolor}) and its blossom, originally purple and yellow. Cultivated… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Viola tricolor — Vi|o|la tri|co|lor [v... ...k...] die; <aus gleichbed. lat. viola tricolor, eigtl. »dreifarbiges Veilchen«; vgl. 1↑Viola> Stiefmütterchen …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Viola tricolor — Violaquercitrin Vi o*la*quer cit*rin, n. (Chem.) A yellow crystalline glucoside obtained from the pansy ({Viola tricolor}), and decomposing into glucose and quercitrin. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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