Common name of Viola tricolor

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by wild-rose-43, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Re: flower name

    Those are Viola Tricolor known as Johnny Jump-ups. They spread by re-seeding themselves and they do it exceedingly well! You'll soon have them in every flower bed and all over your yard! It's not really considered ground cover, although I suppose anything that covers the ground could be ground cover, they are in the same family as the Pansy. I like them because they bloom early before other stuff has gotten going. They prefer rich, moist soil and can take full sun on the coast but like a little shade in hotter areas.

    I just let them do their thing and plant my annuals and perennials around them. If they get really leggy and scraggly looking I prune them back with scissors. Just chop the tops off to get rid of the dead flowers and leggy growth, they'll soon grow up again and bloom some more.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    They look great! You could press the blossoms and make note cards; you could paint them with eggwhite and dip them in sugar to decorate iced cookies or a cake; or you could add them, as is, to a salad: Martha-Stewart-type things.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Probably just about nobody here is going to call these "wild pansies", whereas Johnny jump up is common. And since these are spontaneous seedlings each plant is not going to be a separate cultivar.
     
  5. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Re: flower name

    The Wild Pansy is native to Europe but not North America. It's an introduced species here and has become naturalized in some areas. Most folks here know it as the Johnny Jump-Up.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Exactly. Therefore it is Europe's right to name it, and not to have to put up with being ordered by outsiders to rename it.
     
  7. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Re: flower name

    I meant no offense by my statement, I simply provided the common name for the flower on this side of the pond, since blueberry is in Vancouver I figure she'd like the common name that's used here.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I wouldn't mind if the common names issue that pops up from time to time was handled with a bit more gentle respect to the original poster of the topic, who may not be terribly interested in the vagaries and issues surrounding common names of plants.

    Absolutism closes off discussion (how's that for an absolutist statement?). I'm far more comfortable with a statement like: In Europe, where the plant is native to, it is called wild pansy (in English). Making statements in that manner helps to teach, is assertive and provides additional helpful information.

    ...and, for the record, I tend to call these pansies or violets (if pressed for a common name).
     
  9. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Viola Tricolor- said and done.
    Colloquial names are interesting and rather amusing. Seldom do people dispute the Latin name assuming it is correct.
     
  10. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    I've read that there are several hundred colloquial names for the wild pansy, and as a species, it is endemic from Scandinavia on south. I'm also fairly sure that "Europe" as a whole doesn't give everything an english name. I'd venture that's peculiar to the..umm...english? So..."Wild Pansy" is itself an english imposition on a plant that likely already possessed a scandinavian name. Pretty sure the Swedes don't like the English telling them what to call it. Doubtless the Laplanders had an older name for it yet: probably didn't like the Swedes telling them what it was called. The Latin name is of course intended to be universal: however, latin is a dead language that wasn't endemic to the point of origin either, so it is itself an imposition, a product of consensus amongst people in regions far distant from plant's endemic habitats. I've a suggestion, in light of the wild pansy's myriad names: let's call it Viola tricolor 'Pedant's Dream', or perhaps, Viola jingoisma. Alternately, could simply accept that for a whole bunch of users of this forum, it's "Johnny jump-ups", "wild pansy" for others, "Viola tricolor" if you like, and a bunch of other names not yet mentioned. Said and done.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Yep.
     
  12. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Please stop sniping at each other. People garden for many reasons - need for food, a more academic interest in biology and for gardeners like me, a love of growing my garden and, yes, I am charmed by the common names of plants. It can be annoying to some academically trained botanist when plants are, in their opinion, mislabled and this I can understand. What I cannot sympathise with is the need, sometimes by both camps, to be nasty.
    I am continuing to learn so much from this site and find that I am inclined to read posts primarily from those who respect not only gardening but people as well.

    "A rose by any other name......" This is only my opinion and and I am now going out into my much enjoyed garden.

    Margaret

    ps. Eric and Daniel, you may want to move this to "chat". Hope you both have lovely holidays.
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: flower name

    Different languages are different issues. The issue here is the English name for Viola tricolor, not the Swedish, etc., etc., names for it. European Union legislation provides for each member country to define native plant, etc., names in their respective languages. English names of European native plants are regulated by the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI), covering both the UK and the Irish Republic. Having others pushing hard to subvert our law is not greatly appreciated.

    The other point at issue here is the tendency of (particularly) the USA to use its overwhelming political, economic and military might to enforce its customs on the rest of the world (looks like they already have Canada securely under their thumb!); if it didn't do so, and showed a bit more respect for native usage and customs, the issue wouldn't crop up so much. In Britain, the North American native Giant Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum is often called 'wellingtonia' by UK jingoists (tho I refuse to do so myself), but that name isn't heavily pushed on Americans the same way they push their name changes on us.
     
  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    All of the above posts (including the first, which will now seem out of place) were copied from this thread
     
  15. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    So, what I notice from BSBI, is that they use what they call British names:

    Viola tricolor (and, incidentally, tricolour pansy or heartsease).

    They also list a few names in "other languages and countries":

    France
    Violette tricolore

    Germany
    Steifmütterchen

    Sweden
    styvmorsviol

    From my perspective, they have created a standard list of common names to be used in Britain. No such mechanism is currently in place in the USA or Canada, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  16. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record, in Australia, their common name is Pansies, also : )

    Ed
     
  17. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Holy smokes! I didn't realize a little thing like the common name of a plant could cause such a ruckus! I have no problem with what folks in different countries call the plants I'm familiar with. Just like I have no problem that the English call the hood of a car a "bonnet", this really makes no difference to me and I don't lose sleep over it. I said I meant no offense by my statement and I'll stand by that. I truly meant no offense, I wasn't trying to force you to use the name Johnny Jump-up, call it whatever you like. By the same token I'm free to call it whatever I like. Enough said...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  18. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    There are many names for Viola tricolor even in England. Maybe they aren't the "official" approved ones, but some of them are more fun! Just a few from Geoffrey Grigson's The Englishmans Flora (1958)

    Bird's Eyes

    Call me to you

    Gentleman Tailor

    Kiss and look up

    Love in Idleness (name used by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Nights Dream )

    Pink Eyed John

    Stepmothers (= Daniels German name "Steifmütterchen")


    Tittle my Fancy

    ....so plenty for us to chose from

    Lets enjoy!
    Ciao
    BrianO
     
  19. Annell

    Annell Active Member

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    my mother always called them fairy buttons, don't know why, probably made it up herself since i loved fairies so much as a child.

    Does the flower care what we call it?
    So long as we love it and grow it?

    A
     

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