Pansy Panola™ Silhouette Mix

Pan-00Pansy and viola genetics combine to give us the Panola™ pansy series. Flowers are larger than violas and plants bloom more generously than other pansies. Like violas, this series is effective at covering the soil so Panolas™ are often sold as spreading pansies. Silhouette Mix is one of the prettiest selections, offering water-stained pastels and tiny dark faces.

Pansies are known for having bright, and sometimes loud and chaotic, colors but they are also capable of providing subtle beauty. Imagine the Silhouettes used to create a soft, harmonious array inside a grapevine basket or in a birdbath garden by the front door. The Silhouette Mix features a well-chosen range of colors to pull the whole garden together, regardless of what color the specific flower is.


While many enjoy the bold primary colors and aggressive combinations like ‘Wine Flash’ and ‘Fizzy Lemonberry’, it’s a good idea to keep some of the quiet, understated shades on the retail bench, as well. Use them to enhance the ceramics or the basketry. For landscaping, Silhouette Mix provides strong complementary colors to fill a bed without having to worry about the details, or what might pop up next to them. 


Culturally, Panolas™ fall halfway between pansies and violas. They grow about 6–8 inches tall and spread out a little wider, to about 10 inches. Their mounded fashion is a departure from the tighter habit of pansies, but it’s not quite like the low flat disc of violas, either. They grow well in sun or semi-shade and, until the summer heat kicks in, they will keep blooming generously.


Another pansy/viola hybrid you might be familiar with is the Cool Wave™ series. Panolas™ and Cool Waves™ are like Pepsi and Coke—brand names for very similar products with slight differences to set them apart from each other. We prefer Panolas™ because of Ball’s attention to uniform habit and their stewardship of the genetics under their care, but we do grow the Cool Waves™ as well. No single program offers all the desirable colors, so we pick the best performers and most interesting shades from each series.


For landscapers, the Panolas™ offer the best of both worlds: the color oomph of pansies combined with the tough-as-nails winter resilience of violas. A bitter winter like the one we just experienced can kill off many standard pansies, but the violas and Panolas™ sailed through it just fine.