Saturday, June 20, 2015

Seedy Saturday- Johnny-jump-up

Happy Saturday everyone!  Today, I bring you information on those cute little three-coloured flowers we call Johnny-jump-ups. 

These pretty little flowers that we see popping up in the Spring, and again in the Fall are an heirloom plant from the Elizabethan times.  Back then they were referred to as heart’s-ease or wild pansy however.  This species of plant made its way to America in the 1600s, where it was named the Johnny-jump-up, as its seeds scatter widely and new plants spring up in places you would not expect. 

This plant also has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It has been recommended for conditions such as, epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and eczema. In folk medicine, it is said to help respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and cold symptoms. The flowers have also been used to make yellow, green and blue-green dyes. 

This flower was associated with thought in the "language of flowers", as it was known as a pansy for an amount of time, and pansy comes from the French word “pensee,” which means “thought.”  For my fellow Shakespeare fans, Ophelia's often quoted line in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "There's pansies, that's for thoughts,” was not referring to a modern garden pansy, but the three-coloured Johnny-jump-ups we find all around.  Last fun fact about this flower is that it can be pressed for floral art or can be candied for use as a cake decoration! 

Take care everyone,

Catie Welch

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