Common field pansy (Viola rafinesquii) looks a lot like the violet plant, with lobed leaves and small, violet or cream-colored flowers. It is a winter annual that is also a difficult-to-control broadleaf weed. Despite the plant’s pretty, long-stalked flowers, most people inquiring about the plant want to know how to get rid of field pansy. Controlling field pansies is not easy, since they do not respond to most herbicides. Read on for more field pansy information.
Field Pansy Information
The leaves of common field pansy form a rosette. They are smooth and hairless, with small notches around the edges. The flowers are a lovely, pale yellow or a deep violet, each with five petals and five sepals.
The little plant rarely grows above 6 inches (15 cm.) tall, but it can form thick mats of vegetation in fields of no-till crops. It germinates in winter or spring, springing out of the ground so fast it has been nick-named “Johnny jump up.”
The common field pansy produces fruit in the shape of a triangular pyramid filled with seeds. Each plant produces some 2,500 seeds every year that can germinate at any time in mild climates.
The fruit explodes the seeds into the air when it is mature. The seeds are also spread by ants. They grow easily in disturbed wet areas and pastures.
Field Pansy Control
Tilling is a good field pansy control, and the plants are only a serious problem for those raising crops that are not tilled. These include cereals and soybeans.
The speed of germination and growth does not help gardeners intent on controlling field pansies’ spread. Those intent on field pansy control have found that the standard rates of glyphosate in springtime is helpful.
That said, scientists associated with Kansas State University tried applying glyphosate to the common field pansy in the fall, instead of spring. They achieved much better results with just one application. So gardeners interested in how to get rid of field pansy should use the weed killer in the fall to achieve better results.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.