Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
Erect plant with smooth gray-green foliage and nodding clusters of pink buds that open into light blue trumpet-shaped flowers. The 1-2 ft., branched and arching stems of Virginia bluebells bear pendulous,
terminal clusters of lavender-blue, bell-shaped flowers. Large, gray-green, oval
leaves line the stems of this perennial.
When it grows in masses, this species makes a spectacular show, especially in the Midwest. A smaller, trailing, rosy-pink-flowered species, Sea Lungwort (M. maritima
), occurs on beaches from Newfoundland to Massachusetts. Tall Lungwort (M. paniculata
), a western species with a hairy stem,
extends eastward into Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and Minnesota. The genus
is named for the German botanist Franz Karl Mertens (1764-1831).
Image Gallery: 18 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, DC Canada: ON
, QC Native Distribution: NY
& s. Ont. to e. MN,
s. to NC, AR
& e. KS; naturalized northeastward Native Habitat:
Moist woods & clearings; river bottoms. Species at risk in Ontario.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, moist, sometimes rocky, soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes