Viola arvensis Murr.
Syn.: Viola tricolor var. arvensis (Murr.) Boiss.
Common names: Field pansy, Heart's Ease [En], Pensée des champs [Fr], Pensamiento silvestre [Es], Mezei árvácska [Ma], Acker-Stiefmütterchen [De], Akkerviooltje [Nl]
Hamoir ● Belgium
Amongst the earliest of Violets to appear in the spring, it seems to utilize some sort of growth retardant on nearby plants, appearing to be the only plant growing in the large masses it forms. Outside these colonies, the grasses and herbs grow normally.
The lower leaves are oval, becoming narrowly oval or spear-shaped towards the top of the plant. The bilaterally symmetrical flowers have a short spur. The petals are generally cream in colour with a yellow centre, the upper petals are sometimes pale blue or purple. The sepals are as long as the petals.
The name “Heart’s-ease” came from the woman St. Euphrasia, whose name in Greek signifies cheerfulness of mind. The woman, who refused marriage and took the veil, was considered a pattern of humility, hence the name “humble violet”. The specific colors of the flower – purple, yellow, and white – are meant to symbolize memories, loving thoughts and souvenirs, respectively. As these traits are all helpful in easing lovers’ hearts, the nickname is quite fitting.