Friday, April 24, 2009

Viola x wittrockiana: flowers

[Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Matrix Red and Yellow.]Viola x wittrockiana, known in English as "pansy" and in French as pensée des jardins, is a short-lived tender perennial grown as an annual in Toronto gardens. Pansies come in a huge variety of colours, though unfortunately no "true" red, only a dark rusty red like in this cultivar, 'Matrix Red and Yellow'. The five-petalled flowers often have a central blotch and/or are bicoloured.

This is not the best picture, but it does show what a pretty blue 'Matrix Ocean' is. I am regretting not starting some pansy seeds myself. [Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Matrix Morpheus.]'Matrix Morpheus' has pretty blue and yellow flowers with whiskers rather than a blotch. There are many other colourways in the 'Matrix' series; you can see many more 'Matrix' varieties at Stokes.

[Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Delta Premium White Blotch.]This pansy is 'Delta Premium White Blotch'. I think this is the cultivar Nicky chose last year. (Since Nicky generally hates anything to do with plants and gardening, when he actually likes a plant I usually get it.)

[Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Delta Premium Red Blotch.]Here's another so-called "red" pansy, 'Delta Premium Red Blotch'. I love truly red flowers like Monarda didyma and Aquilegia canadensis, so I'm always a bit annoyed when nurseries call merely reddish flowers "red". To me this is more of an oxblood colour.

[Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Delta Premium Neon Violet.]This beauty, 'Delta Premium Neon Violet' is really tempting me. I love the neon glow around the blotch, which you can really see on the flower in the back.

[Photo: Viola x wittrockiana Delta Premium Beaconsfield.]I love the way that the purple blotch on 'Delta Premium Beaconsfield' softly blurs into the white, as though painted in watercolours. There are many other colourways in the 'Delta' series; I especially love this unusual pink and purple pansy from the 'Delta Pink Shades' mix.

All the flowers in this post were photographed at Mimi's Convenience, 1686 Danforth.

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