Field Pansy

©Philip Precey

Field Pansy

Scientific name: Viola arvensis
With its familiar features, the Field Pansy is a delicate version of a garden favourite. Usually creamy-yellow in colour, it can be seen in fields and on roadside verges and waste ground.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 15cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

The delicate Field Pansy is a wild relative of our garden pansy and can be found in fields and on waste ground and roadside verges - anywhere the ground has been disturbed. Its long-stalked, pale yellow flowers can be found winding their way through the grasses from April to October.
Field Pansies are annuals, so they live for one growing season, flowering, seeding and dying off. Only the dormant seeds survive, ready for the next season.

How to identify

The low-growing Field Pansy has pale creamy-yellow flowers that have an orange flush on the lower petal. However, it does display a variety of colour forms towards violet, sometimes making it difficult to tell apart from the Wild Pansy, with which it also hybridises.

Distribution

Grows throughout the UK, but is less common in eastern parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Did you know?

The face-like arrangement of the petals of pansies has provided them with many names from 'Cat's Face' to 'Three-faces-under-a-hood'.

How people can help

Although they might not look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, railway cuttings and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts are involved in many projects to make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a Living Landscape: a network of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.