By Mike Johnson
I think that Pansies are one of the prettier flowers that you can put in your garden. Not only are they pretty but they are also tasty. I like that quality in my Flowers.
Pansies were originally created in the early 1800’s by crossing varieties of violas. I attribute the popularity to the pansy to a few reasons. First, I would expect there popularity is based on their delicate beauty. Second, a lot of the demand for Pansies is due to there hardiness and ease of growing. They do well in cool weather and you can find them growing in the winter in the South or Southwest and they grow well spring to fall in the north of the United States. Thirdly, I think they appeal to us on a subconscious level because they have 5 petals and 5 is a Fibonacci number. I won’t bore you with a lesson on Fibonacci numbers in nature, just trust me, we are attracted to Fibonacci numbers.
The flavor of your pansies depends on growing conditions and the type of pansy you grow. The whole flower can be eaten and it might taste grassy, tangy, or it might have a wintergreen flavor as well. Regardless of the flavor it is usually very mild. It can be added to salads as a garnish. My kids love it when we add petals in lemonade or even popsicles. Another fun way to use it is to freeze it in ice cubes.
Always exercise caution when eating flowers. See my previous article about Honeysuckle plants for some of the dangers that you want to be aware of.
Here is a recipe for Pansy Lemonade that you can also freeze and make into popsicles. This will make a very strong lemonade. I like it strong but if it is too much for you, dilute it with water to taste.
6 cups water
2 Cups Lemon Juice
Zest of one lemon
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
Stir and add pansy as a garnish
If you are making popsicles, add pansies to container, pour in juice, freeze with a stick, feed to children, or yourself!