Frizzle Sizzle Pansies

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An eye-catching mix of ruffled Frizzle Sizzle Pansies

Ruffled Pansies are well loved and popular in England. British gardeners value the extra colors in the flower faces and the ruffled petticoat of petals. It’s not a surprise that a nation of avid gardeners would adopt a Pansy as unique as the Frizzle Sizzle series.

Over here in America, solid colors dominate Pansy sales to the trade but the same is not true for garden centers and public works personnel. Landscapes are often vistas viewed far-off, whereas home gardens and display beds usually reflect their gardeners’ personal taste up close. Diversity sells on the retail bench and in public parks, so a distinctive, unusual Pansy rises above the commodity type. Let’s take a look at what makes up the Frizzle Sizzles and how they bring their sizzle to early spring.

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Pansy ‘Frizzle Sizzle Lemonberry’ anchors the series


‘Lemonberry’ is the standout cultivar of the series. Developed in Holland about a decade ago by Han Sasbrink from PanAmerican, it’s a good example of how art and breeding blend to create a better Pansy.

As a general rule, Pansies have a little ruffle in their petals naturally. There are standard breeding procedures in place, however, to iron them out to create the flat faces that we find in solids like ‘Matrix Yellow’ and ‘Matrix True Blue’. Sasbrink pushed hard in the opposite direction, selecting for extreme ruffles. 

His eye didn’t stop at the frills. Take a look at the edges of the petals. They trace the ruffles with a blush of lavender. Now take another look at the face itself. Delicate threads splash out to underscore the intricate curls. This breeder didn’t choose a ruffled look—he chose a better look where the color ruffles with the texture.

Costume designers use these same techniques in French turn-of-the-century dresses, to amp up the drama so audiences can see the bell shape of an evening gown from their seats. Sasbrink did some very clever work here.

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A deeply-purple example of ‘Frizzle Sizzle Raspberry’


‘Raspberry’, on the other hand, mashes the ruffled look with the color-morphing capability we normally associate with ‘Delta Fire’. If you recall, ‘Fire’ has red, orange, and yellow flickering in all sorts of combinations.

It’s the same technique here. ‘Frizzle Sizzle Raspberry’ morphs from dark grape to rose-wine to light lavender. Kabuki white outlines the blotch and varies from very light to very heavy—occasionally we see a pale yellow creep into the lower lip. All of it is deeply ruffled. You will not see this complex look elsewhere.

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Colors jump around on ‘Frizzle Sizzle Raspberry’ flowers


Lo and behold, over the decade the Frizzle Sizzle series took off in northern Europe. Not just in Britain, mind you—Holland and Germany buy about as many plants as the United Kingdom. What is the next biggest market for the series? Japan. Demand in these markets is for cultivars that reflect a gardener’s personality.

That’s exactly what Frizzle Sizzle does, particularly for avid gardeners who seek out the interesting, the different and the special. These are the same plant lovers who like to stroll through other gardens and support municipal efforts to beautify their neighborhoods. Frizzle Sizzle’s uniqueness suits their style.

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Frizzle Sizzle Mini Tapestry Violas—we haven’t seen a look like this before


As we mentioned, the Frizzle Sizzles have been around for about a decade. They are large-flowered Pansies that came out of the same breeding core that delivered the Matrix series. Since Frizzle Sizzles sell so well as a series, PanAmerican figured there would also be a demand for a mini version of the ruffled look.

Creating this ruffled mini fell to Ockert Greyvenstein, a South African grower assigned to PanAmerican’s breeding facilities in California. Using the Sorbet chassis he also pushed the ruffled look hard to produce the Frizzle Sizzle Mini Tapestry line. If you find that name to be a mouthful, there’s a quicker way to say it: Ruffled Violas.

We haven’t seen a look like this before in professional circles. It’s also new to the market for 2020. Whereas the large-flowered Frizzle Sizzle Pansy has a face about three inches across, the mini version produces flowers about the same size as the Sorbets.

In fact, the Mini Tapestries produce lots of flowers with the same height, spread and shape as the Sorbets. In our mind, this is a desirable feature. We can easily mix-and-match the ruffled look into the wide range of useful Sorbet solids and duets.

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Frizzle Sizzles look like they should cost more, but they don't


If you are seeking to rise above the commodity Pansy, the Frizzle Sizzles, both Pansy and Viola, have the premium style look. They don’t cost more than standard versions, but they look like they should. Take advantage of this feature by pairing Frizzle Sizzle with distinctive crockery, especially vessels that have interesting patterns or textures. These Pansies and Violas have tops that hold their own against complex glazes or custom handiwork.

In early spring combos, blend them with early spring crops like Nemesia, Bacopa, or Alyssum and expect to see the ruffles play off of the bubbly nature of those other varieties. Outside, bunch a group of pots together to create an eye-catching end cap display or a unique bed leading up to the entrance. Eye-catching is the operative word here, because the general public in our Cincinnati area probably hasn’t seen Pansies like these before now.

Bear in mind that Frizzle Sizzle is a series that you will only see in early spring. Both the ruffles and the colors are more intense then because of the plant’s strong desire to grow in the cool weather.

We sell the Pansy Frizzle Sizzles in the 1203 flats. We sell the Viola Frizzle Sizzle Mini Tapestry in the same size as well.