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Horned Pansy - Viola cornuta

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Species Description

Widespread and fairly frequent in North East Scotland. Scattered elsewhere. Growing habit: roadside verges, wood-borders, railway banks, hedgerows, rough grassland, wasteland, rubbish tips etc. Growing habit: Annual to short-lived Perennial. Height: Up to 30 cm. Flowers: April to September. First cultivated in Britain in 1776 and known from the wild in 1878. Other names include: Baby Faces, Bedding Pansy, Horned Violet, Pyrenean Violet, Tufted Pansy, Viola.

Stace 4:

Viola cornuta L. - Horned Pansy.

Perennial with slender rhizome; aerial stems to 30cm; stipules serrate or lobed to about 1/2 way to midrib, with more or less triangular apical lobe; flowers 2-4cm across, violet or lilac, fragrant; spur 10-15mm; (2n=20, 22, 42). Neophyte-naturalised; grown in gardens and naturalised in grassy places; frequent throughout Scotland, rare and mostly more or less casual elsewhere in Britain and Isle of Man, County Waterford; Pyrenees. Hybrids between this and V. wittrockiana are grown (Bedding Viola, Violetta) and might also escape.


  • Stipules more or less leaf-like, at least some deeply lobed; lateral 2 petals directed upwards; style with more or less globose apical swelling with hollow in one side (sect. Melanium - Pansies)
  • Corolla-spur 10-15mm

Useful Links:

Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora