Pansies are small plants classified as Viola x wittrockiana, which are sometimes confused with the Johnny jump-ups. If pansies are small plants, Johnny jump-ups are petite. Pansy species number almost 500 and are available in a wide range of colours. The bloom of the pansy may be one, two or three colour combinations.
Bloom Size Varieties
Varieties of pansies are broken down into three categories by the size of the flowers. Large bloom varieties measure about 3 to 4 inches and include the accord series, medallion series and lyric series. Blooms in the medium size equal about 2 to 3 inches and include such varieties as the imperial, joker, crown and springtime series. Maxim, universal and the crystal bowl series are multiflora varieties with blooms that are 1 to 2 inches.
The different series of pansies within the varieties all have different types of colour combinations. For example, the Sorbet is a viola hybrid that comes in cultivars known as Blueberry Cream and Lemon Chiffon. The Matrix Citrus series colours consist of yellow, orange, white and gold. Generally, pansies are sold commercially in colour mixes or by a specific cultivar.
The Swiss giant pansies are of the large variety and were bred in Switzerland. These larger flowers appear on long stems and make good flowers in a bouquet arrangement. Many of the hybrid cultivars come from Swiss giant stock. Majestic giant white and majestic giant mix are cultivars from the majestic giant series of large pansies. In 1966 these two cultivars were named the All-American Selection Winners, according to the Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture website. Six colours and a mix comprise the majestic giant series varieties, which withstand temperature extremes well.
The roc series is a member of the medium variety of pansies. This unusual name is derived from two sources: the botanical name for pansy of Viola x wittrockiana and the "rock solid" endurance the cultivar shows in gardens. The roc series of pansies comes in nine colours, some with a face and other without. This series variety was first introduced in 1985.