Pulmonaria are wonderful early blooming perennials for a woodland garden or a shady to part shade border garden. Like Heuchera, they have been rather extensively hybridized for more and more striking foliage. The plain green leaves of the past have been transformed into beautiful foliage that is spotted and slashed with varying degrees of white or silver making the plant sparkle even in the shadiest corner of the garden. An added benefit -- they are deer resistant in most areas!
In early spring, arching stems rise from the rosettes of attractive foliage producing clusters of bell flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white. These lovely flowers are welcome companions to the colorful early spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips.
Pulmonaria grow 8" to 15" tall with flower stems reaching a few inches above the foliage. They are wonderful for planting in the woodland garden under deciduous trees and shrubs. The showy leaves of the variegated forms make them suitable as specimen plants. They combine well with hosta and Heuchera as well as woodland ferns, Epimedium, and Astilbe.
Their relatively fast growth rate also makes them an excellent choice for an attractive shady ground cover. They look striking when planted in drifts with spring bulbs or lining a meandering woodland path.
Pulmonaria perform best in full or part shade in rich, moist but well-drained soils. They do not like hot afternoon sun and will usually wilt under these conditions. Keep well-watered during hot dry summers to maintain fresh, perky foliage.
Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash' forms an upright clump of narrow green leaves heavily spotted with silver. Bright raspberry-pink flowers bloom profusely in the spring!
Pulmonaria 'Bertram Anderson' is an excellent choice for southern gardens where the climate tends to be more hot and humid. This cultivar has bright blue flowers and long narrow green foliage splashed with silver.
Pulmonaria 'Dark Vader' (pictured at top) is a beautiful cultivar with a cool name!! Attractive dark green foliage is covered with contrasting silver splotches. Clusters of purple-blue and pink flowers rise over the clump in early spring.
Pulmonaria 'Gaelic Spring' is a new cultivar with broad silver splashed lime green leaves. Lovely blue flowers fade to pink.