Definition of heartsease in English:


(also heart's-ease)


  • A wild European pansy which typically has purple and yellow flowers. It has given rise to hybrids from which most garden pansies were developed.

    Viola tricolor, family Violaceae

    • ‘On the left upright a dove with olive branch, alluding to the Noah story, is enclosed in a trefoil representing the Holy Trinity, and on the right, in a cruciform shape, is a pansy, or heartsease, traditionally the flower of the Trinity.’
    • ‘You can also add a sprinkle of runner-bean flowers to vegetable soups, or top salads and creamy desserts with pansies and heartsease.’
    • ‘Two you don't often see on the table are pretty heartsease that will flower from midspring to late autumn, and the blue-flowered borage, easy to grow as well as selfseeding.’
    • ‘In A Midsummer Night's Dream it is the juice from heartsease that Oberon squeezes into Titania's eyes to make her fall in love with Bottom disguised as an ass.’


Late Middle English origin uncertain, the term being applied by herbalists to both the pansy and the wallflower in the 16th century.