Colossus Pansies

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A big bloom of Pansy ‘Colossus Yellow Blotch’

Syngenta bred the Colossus Pansy for the southern market where heat is an issue during the Pansy season. Our autumns in Cincinnati are on the edge of that zone—not too hot, but close enough that we can take advantage of the edge Colossus brings to the table. There are lots of Pansy varieties out there but here are three solid reasons why we like Colossus for our area:

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Colossus angles the flowers toward us so we view them face-on


A Colossus bloom is bigger, measuring about three to four inches across the face. You can see where the size comes from—the petals are larger than a standard Pansy, plus the stems hold the flowers nicely above the plant.

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Petals are larger (left) than a standard Pansy (right)

Not only does Colossus erect bigger petals, but it also tilts the flower forward at an angle. Most Pansies you see hold the bloom parallel to the ground; however, we don’t view gardens by flopping on our stomachs. Colossus angles itself toward us so we see the flowers face-on as we stand naturally next to the garden. It’s a subtle difference but it has a huge impact when multiplied by the number of blooms involved.

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Colossus sends out 3 to 5 flowers per plant at any given time


A typical large-flowered Pansy puts out one or two flowers at a time because it trades off bloom count for flower size. Colossus bends this rule, sending out about three to five flowers per plant at any given time. Taken together, the tilting flowers, bigger blooms, and generous flower count result in an intensely colored garden.

Like all Pansies, Colossus gives us more blooms for more time in sunny spots. It does handle partial shade, but we exchange a few blooms for every hour we dodge the sun. Some Pansies handle shade better than others but this is not one of them.

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Even while warm weather lingers Colossus resists the urge to sprawl


We offer Colossus in the fall because it does well in the autumn weather. Summery weather that leaks into autumn is more of a problem for Pansies than the cool weather itself—especially in their younger state. Colossus is bred to be naturally tight, even in the warmth, so it resists the urge to sprawl while the warm weather lingers. Pansies that stay tight in the fall extend their prime blooming season a few weeks longer.

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‘Colossus Red Blotch’


We should note the nice work the breeders have done with the blotched Pansies. Their faces are well formed, large and consistent across the color line. Because the flowers are so large to begin with, the faces are easy to see in the garden.

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‘Colossus White Blotch’

It’s easy to get lost in the clutter that is the Pansy market. With so many choices it’s difficult to keep track of what each one does. Some might say it’s all about decoration and a Pansy is a Pansy, but this is not true. Most Pansies are bred for a purpose, and once we know what that purpose is we can take advantage of the focused breeding. Colossus is a good example of that fact.

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‘Colossus Rose Blotch’