Pansies are annual garden flowers (blooms for only one year, then dies) that are usually the first you find for sale in stores in spring. Pansies have been around for many years and are popular, being easy to grow and so colorful during the cooler days of spring and fall.
In cool northern climates, pansies will bloom well into summer when temperatures turn hot. In warm southern climates they’re often planted again in fall, lasting into and even through the winter. Keeping flowers picked off after bloom (if you have just a few in containers) will keep them more tidy and promote more blooms. If you’re lucky, they’ll self-sow seeds, coming back in future years.
Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are hybrids of several species, the most common being the viola known as “Heartsease” (Viola tricolor). While the terms viola and pansy are often used interchangeably, there actually is a difference. Flowers of violas are usually smaller, those of pansies larger. The real difference, though, is that pansies have four petals pointing upward and one pointing downward; violas or violets have three petals pointing upward and two downward.
Pansy flowers usually have blotches or markings, making them resemble a face. This was first discovered on a sport (mutation) in the late 1830s, at the time that pansies were first becoming popular in Europe and England, with hundreds of varieties. Originally, pansies began as wildflowers in Europe and western Asia.
Pansies continue to be bred, with colors ranging from white to almost black, and most any color and combination in between. There are ones with large flowers such as the Majestic Giant series (3 to 4 inches across), medium such as the Crown and Imperial series (2 to 3 inches), andRead more on backyardgardener.com