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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 September, 2015

Field Pansy: wild but not the wild pansy

Our most common wild pansy is not the wild pansy itself but the field pansy (Viola arvensis). The field pansy in its natural state is a delightful small creamy coloured flower but it does hybridise with the wild pansy which is purple or mauve and so sometimes the appearance can vary and, as always with hybridisation, can be quite misleading to a casual observer like me. The pansy is, of course, a familiar garden flower and everyone will surely recognise the familiar shape of the flower, stem and leaves. The garden pansy can also be found in the wild as a garden escape but there should be no difficulty in telling them apart from their wild cousins.
As its name implies, the field pansy will be found in arable fields flowering from April through until July but it far from common now it having declined with so many of our 'weeds of cultivation' following the extensive use of herbicides in modern farming,
This may be a small, delicate flower but research has shown 

Read more: Field Pansy: wild but not the wild pansy