One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wild European pansy which typically has purple and yellow flowers. It has given rise to hybrids from which most garden pansies were developed.
Viola tricolor, family Violaceae
- ‘In A Midsummer Night's Dream it is the juice from heartsease that Oberon squeezes into Titania's eyes to make her fall in love with Bottom disguised as an ass.’
- ‘Two you don't often see on the table are pretty heartsease that will flower from midspring to late autumn, and the blue-flowered borage, easy to grow as well as selfseeding.’
- ‘On the left upright a dove with olive branch, alluding to the Noah story, is enclosed in a trefoil representing the Holy Trinity, and on the right, in a cruciform shape, is a pansy, or heartsease, traditionally the flower of the Trinity.’
- ‘You can also add a sprinkle of runner-bean flowers to vegetable soups, or top salads and creamy desserts with pansies and heartsease.’
Late Middle English: origin uncertain, the term being applied by herbalists to both the pansy and the wallflower in the 16th century.
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