Viola cornuta. We loved this petite pansy as soon as it bloomed, and it bloomed in the first year, over a long period. Just 14 to 16 weeks after seeding, its small, very dark, and flat-faced flowers began to appear.
With regular deadheading Back to Black just blooms and blooms.
The foliar growth is vigorous, but the stature of the plants remains compact at about 15cm (6″) tall.
It would look great in containers or window boxes, but it takes on a wonderful appearance in mass plantings. The flowers are actually very deep purple, but so deep that they appear black from a few feet away.
Each delicate flower is streaked in the centre by a brush of golden yellow. The edible flower petals look amazing scattered on ice cream.
Sow in early spring for summer flowers, or as late as July for winter blooms. It's hardy in Zones 5 to 9.