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Origin of the word Pansy ~ JFF Flora

Sharing these purple and yellow pansies from my garden earlier this year. There are tons of different colors you can purchase. I love this color combination best of all. Pansies are annuals. You have to plant them each year. But they will survive the cold, even snow. Still not sure why they are called pansies.

I researched and found out the different languages that describe the word pansy. I found it interesting.

The name “pansy” is derived from the French word pensée, “thought”, and was imported into English as a name of Viola in the mid-15th century, as the flower was regarded as a symbol of remembrance. The name “love in idleness” was meant to imply the image of a lover who has little or no other employment than to think of his beloved.

The name “heart’s-ease” came from St. Euphrasia, whose name in Greek signifies cheerfulness of mind. The woman, who refused marriage and took the veil, was considered a pattern of humility, hence the name “humble violet”.

In Scandinavia, Scotland, and German-speaking countries, the pansy (or its wild parent) is or was known as the “stepmother”; the name was accompanied by a tale about a selfish stepmother, told to children while the teller plucked off corresponding parts of the blossom to fit the plot. 

In Italy the pansy is known as flammola (little flame).

So now you know what I know about the name pansy. Nature is packed full of never ending knowledge. Have a great day and weekend everyone.


Kim’s August challenge ends today. You should check it out: Flora and Fauna.


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Written by Carol DM

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