Field pansy

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Field pansy
Field pansy (Viola arvensis)

Field pansy ( Viola arvensis )

Eurosiden I
Order : Malpighiales (Malpighiales)
Family : Violet family (Violaceae)
Genre : Violets ( viola )
Type : Field pansy
Scientific name
Viola arvensis

The field pansy ( Viola arvensis ) is a species of the genus violets ( Viola ) within the violet family (Violaceae).


Flower with a pedicel
Foliage leaf with stipules
Ovary with stylus and spherical stigma

Vegetative characteristics

The field pansy is an herbaceous plant that usually reaches heights of only up to 20 centimeters. Unlike most other violets, this species is annual deciduous. Biennial populations also rarely appear. The whole plant is only loosely hairy. It does not form any subterranean runners . Some roots are up to 45 centimeters deep.

The spreading of the largest leaves are almost always provided with five notches on both sides. The broadly ovate leaf blades are serrate or notched. The erect stipules have an enlarged end portion that resembles the leaf blade.

Generative characteristics

The flowering period extends from April to October. The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic with a double flower envelope . The light yellow corolla is 8 to 26 millimeters long. The lower petal is often whitish in color and provided with blue notches.

The chromosome number of both subspecies, Viola arvensis subsp. arvensis and Viola arvensis subsp. megalantha is 2n = 34.


The pollination of the field pansy by insects , often self-pollination has also been observed. It forms long-lived seeds that are mostly just spread out by themselves.


The field pansy grows in large parts of Europe and western Asia . In Europe it is considered an archaeophyte . It is considered a cultural successor and was probably introduced by humans not only in the Middle Ages, but as early as the Subboreal (3710–450 BC).

The field pansy grows in dry locations such as fields, ruderal sites , the edges of fields. Such locations are usually rich in nutrients, saturated with nitrogen and rich in bases. It is not uncommon, however, to find it on sand rubble sites. It is quite common throughout Germany, only in the Alpine region and in the low mountain ranges it is less common. In Central Europe it is a character species of the order Centauretalia cyani, but also occurs in Polygono-Chenopodietalia societies during crop rotation.


Viola arvensis subsp. arvensis
Viola arvensis ssp. megalantha

The following subspecies can be distinguished:

  • Common field pansy ( Viola arvensis Murr. Subsp. Arvensis ): The petals are shorter than or at most as long as the sepals. The flowers are 8-15 millimeters long. The subspecies has roots up to 45 centimeters deep.
  • Large-flowered field pansy ( Viola arvensis subsp. Megalantha Nauenburg ): The petals are usually longer than the sepals. The flowers are 18–26 millimeters long. The upper petals are usually tinged with blue-violet.

Origin of name

The term "pansy" should be based on the following characteristics: The two upper petals are viewed as stepdaughters, the two on the side the daughters and the enlarged lower petal with the striking blue notch should represent the mother.


The herbal drug can be used against headaches due to the content of salicylic acid , saponins and mucous substances can help with skin diseases. In folk medicine , a decoction is also said to relieve coughs and sore throats.


  • Eckehart J. Jäger, Klaus Werner (Ed.): Excursion flora from Germany . Founded by Werner Rothmaler. 10th edited edition. tape 4 : Vascular Plants: Critical Volume . Elsevier, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Munich / Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1496-2 .
  • Ruprecht Düll , Herfried Kutzelnigg : Pocket dictionary of plants in Germany. A botanical-ecological excursion companion to the most important species . 6th, completely revised edition. Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2005, ISBN 3-494-01397-7 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . With the collaboration of Angelika Schwabe and Theo Müller. 8th, heavily revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 , pp.  673 .
  2. B. Quinger: Violaceae. In: Oskar Sebald, Siegmund Seybold, Georg Philippi (eds.): The fern and flowering plants of Baden-Württemberg . tape 2 : Special part (Spermatophyta, subclass Dilleniidae): Hypericaceae to Primulaceae . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1990, ISBN 3-8001-3312-1 , pp. 73 .

Web links

Commons : Acker-Panschen ( Viola arvensis )  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files