Pulmonarias, or lungworts, are perennials that bloom very early in spring and have interesting foliage from spring through fall. The leaves grow in basal rosettes and in some types are marked with silver-white splotches. The flowers may be blue or pink and in some cases start out pink and fade to blue, so both colors appear at once on the same plant.
How to grow: While the plants will persist in poor soil, they do best when planted in rich, moist garden soil in partial to full shade. They need very little care once established. Remove damaged leaves and transplant if they become too crowded.
Propagation: By division in fall or from seed.
Uses: Lungworts are excellent plants for the shade garden, the wild garden, and as ground covers. They can be used on sloping ground shaded by trees-- a difficult site for growing most other plants.
Related species: Pulmonaria angustifolia Azurea is a European plant with green leaves that bears brilliant blue flowers. P. saccharata and P. longifolia have silver splotches on their leaves. P. saccharata Berries and Cream has showy silver foliage veined and edged with forest green.
Scientific name: Pulmonaria officinalis
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