Normally an annual plant, but it is sometimes a short-lived perennial. A good bee plant.
Heartsease has a long history of herbal use and was at one time in high repute as a treatment for epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and a wide range of other complaints.
Yellow, green and blue-green dyes are obtained from the flowers.
Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high.
Best sown in the autumn in a cold frame.
Young leaves and flower buds - raw or cooked. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra.
A tea can be made from the leaves.
The small attractive flowers are added to salads or used as a garnish.