Definition of heartsease in US English:


(also heart's-ease)


  • 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.’
    • ‘You can also add a sprinkle of runner-bean flowers to vegetable soups, or top salads and creamy desserts with pansies and heartsease.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Late Middle English: origin uncertain, the term being applied by herbalists to both the pansy and the wallflower in the 16th century.