Tag Archives: botany


Love-in-idleness, a flower commonly known as the pansy, botanically known as viola tricolor, German-ly known as the Stiefmuetterchenkraut, amusingly known as the kiss-her-in-the-buttery, and traditionally known as heartsease, is one of the many plants that William Shakespeare referenced in his plays. As one of the most common and popular field flowers across Europe, the pansy has inspired a variety of legends. As Shakespeare recounts in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one popular tale states that the flower was originally pure white until it was struck by Cupid’s arrow. The wound from the arrow formed the dark purple center of the petals. This tale of Cupid, coupled with the flower’s name, from the French “pensée,” meaning thought, and its heart-shaped petals, has linked the pansy with ideas of love, lovers, and dreaming. Continue reading