Wild pansy

Violet rugs on the rocksBlue-violet flower carpets on the rocks

Wild pansies © the City of Helsinki materialbank, Kaarina Heikkonen

In particularly good years, wild pansies (Viola tricolor) may cover rocky areas in extensive carpets of blue-violet flowers. However, wild pansies do not flower this impressively every year, sometimes growing only sparsely.

In regard to habitat, the wild pansy favours open, nutrient-rich rocks, which can be found in southern Helsinki. In many of these areas, the excavation of old fortifications has released nutrients into the soil that wild pansies eagerly make use of. In the archipelago, fertilisation is taken care of by the large bird populations, allowing wild pansies to grow even in areas where the rocks are nothing but unbroken granite.