This paper describes the development of a planar distributed tactile display and the evaluation of the results of its effectiveness for displaying textures. The tactile display is composed of a 6 x 5 pin array actuated by 30 piezoelectric bimorphs. The distance between each pin's centers is 1.8 mm. Vertical excursion of each pin is controlled over a 0-0.7 mm range. Perceptual experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the system under three conditions: active touch, passive touch with vibration and passive touch without vibration. The experimental results showed that vibrational stimuli helped subjects discriminate tactile patterns. Measurements of the error rate during discrimination tasks were used to find an optimal vibration frequency for stimuli presented at a constant sensation level (32 SLdB above threshold). The experiment was repeated, this time holding the energy transferred mechanically to the fingertip tissue constant. At low frequencies, we found that the passive stimulation allowed subjects to discriminate just as well as active touch of static stimuli did. The results suggested new possibilities for displaying texture using passive touch, constant energy and spatially varied vibration frequency.