Heartsease

From Academic Kids

Heartsease
Conservation status: Secure

Viola tricolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Malpighiales
Family:Violaceae
Genus:Viola
Species:V. tricolor

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Heartsease (Viola triocolor) 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 native species such as the Yellow Pansy). It is the progenitor of the cultivated Pansy, and is therefore sometimes called the Wild Pansy; before the cultivated Pansies were developed, "pansy" was an alternative name for the wild form.

The Heartsease is a small plant of creeping habit, reaching at most 15cm 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, the heartsease was associated with thought in the "language of flowers", often by its alternative name of pansy: hence Ophelia's often quoted line in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "There's pansies, that's for thoughts". What Shakespeare had in mind was the heartsease, not a modern garden pansy.

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

External links

et:Aaskannike nl:Driekleurig viooltje pl:Fiołek trójbarwny

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