Pansy Plant Types: Selecting Different Kinds Of Pansy Flowers

Pansy Flowers Of All Colors
pansy variety
(Image credit: sundec88)

“Pansy” comes from the French word “pensee,” meaning thought, and come spring, many gardeners’ thoughts turn to this summer backyard staple. The bright and cheerful blossoms seem to smile up at you like little happy faces. Pansies have been around for centuries, but so many new and fabulous pansy varieties have been developed that they have taken on a whole new aspect in the flower garden. If you want more info on remarkable kinds of pansy flowers, just keep reading.

Types of Pansies

None of us living today knew pansies when they were wild, weedy plants in the 1700s. But even this new century has seen many changes in the types of pansies available in commerce. New pansy plant types include cultivars offering huge blossoms, ruffled petals and vivid colors and color combinations. So instead of using these modest, inexpensive blossoms as edging for more flamboyant flower displays, many gardeners are using fancy pansy varieties as the main dish.

Pansy Varieties for All Weather

Let’s start with pansy varieties that thrive in different regions. Modern pansy plant types include some that do well in hot weather, and others that can take winter’s worst and still raise pretty faces to the sun. It used to be that pansy varieties did poorly in warm regions of the country, bolting and flopping as the temperature soared. New kinds of pansy flowers, however, do very well in heat. One good example is the 'Matrix' series of pansy, developed by PanAmerican Seed. These beauties, including ‘Solar Flare,’ with its exceptional copper and scarlet tomes, which can withstand warm temperatures just fine. Or try the “Heat Elite” series of beauties. Large flowered and short stemmed, these pansies come in many colors and do well in both extremes of heat and cold. Pansy varieties have always done well in cool areas, but how about flowers that stay lovely through Christmas? Select among the new, cold-tolerant pansy plant types like 'Cool Wave White' pansy. They surf right through cold winter days in hanging baskets as long as you bring them into the garage at night.

Big and Bigger Kinds of Pansy Flowers

If you love pansies but want flowers that are big and bigger, you won’t have to look very far these days. Take a look at the ‘Colossus’ series. These pansies are huge, with upward-tilted faces as broad as your palm. They grow on compact plants about 5 inches (12 cm.) tall. Color choice is impressive in these giants. You’ll find deep purple with darker blotches, a mosaic of shades of lavender, pure white without blotches and even deep sapphire blue, among others. You want fancy? Try the ‘Bolero’ series of pansies for truly impressive frills. They are spectacularly lovely with frilled, semi-double flowers in vivid shades. The plants grow to some 10 inches (25 cm.) tall and spread vigorously. An alternative is the ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ series. They offer snazzy blossoms with ruffled petals. Shades range from raspberry red to pumpkin orange to a yellow-blue swirl with contrast blotching.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.