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 providing vibrant early color in shadier gardens, perfect to welcome in the many spring displays yet to come.
Preferring moist, well-drained soils in areas of part sun to shade, lungwort emerges as lush rosettes of coarsely textured, deep green leaves with silver-spotted variegation, growing 12-18" tall when in bloom, and forming dense clusters up to two feet wide at maturity. A multitude of cultivars are available in a variety of leaf shapes and patterns, from sparsely spotted to nearly pure silver selections.
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 the wider-leaved ‘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 bright silver interest throughout the growing season.
Pulmonaria are stunning massed as a shady groundcover, excellent for low shady borders and woodland gardens, and will not be bothered by deer or rabbits. Lungwort are a wonderful animal resistant Hosta alternative, or an excellent addition to Hosta gardens to provide varied bloom times and added foliage interest as well.