Pulmonaria: Lungwort

Pulmonaria: Lungwort

Posted by Aaron Barton on May 2nd 2022

May 3, 2022


One of the first perennials to make its presence known in the early spring, Pulmonaria is a phenomenal addition to add season-long interest and beauty to any shade garden. Pulmonaria (pul-muh-NARE-ee-ah) of the borage family, Boraginaceae, also known as Lungwort is an early season shade bloomer sure to liven up shadier gardens and welcome in the many spring displays to come.

Preferring moist, well-drained soils in areas of part sun to shade, Lungwort forms dense rosettes of coarsely textured, deep green leaves with silver spotted variegation, growing up to twelve inches tall by up to two feet wide and spreading slowly by underground rhizomes. A multitude of cultivars are available in a variety of leaf shapes and variegations, from sparsely spotted to nearly pure silver varieties.

Blooming from early spring to late spring, Pulmonaria produce abundant bright clusters of funnel-shaped five-petaled flowers atop fuzzy stems, ranging in color from soft blues and purples such as the flowers of ‘Trevi Fountain’ to bright pinks and purples of the ever-popular ‘Raspberry Splash.’ After flowering, Lungwort’s showy foliage persists to provide unique texture and pops of silver throughout the remainder of the growing season.

Pulmonaria are excellent candidates for shady borders, mass plantings, and woodland gardens and will not be bothered by deer or rabbits. Lungwort are also perfect for planting near black walnut trees as they are juglone-resistant, offering a wonderful alternative or addition to Hosta gardens as well.

Happy Planting!