Lungwort Plant

Lungwort plant is a perennial that can grow from between 1ft. and 1.5ft. high and it’s botanical name is Pulmonaria.

Lungwort Plant Leaves - Pulmonaria

The leaves are heart shaped and covered with a mass of specked white patterns.

This is a shade plant, representative of the type, and while it will certainly not tolerate a lot of strong and direct sunlight, is eminently suitable for the shade garden.

It is especially good for filling those quiet dark areas of your garden or yard where other plants might find it difficult to grow.

It's not just the foliage that makes Lungwort so decorative - it has some lovely flowers as well. Although these flowers are tiny they look extremely attractive, like little stars scattered over the foliage.

Another thing that is really interesting about these flowers is that these little bells actually change colour - they start out pink and then slowly turn to blue as they begin to age. The foliage remains even after the flowering season, right until winter's frost.

Lungwort is native to Europe and parts of Asia. You should have little or no trouble growing them so long as you remember that they prefer deep shade - they will tolerate partial shade.

It takes a balance of all sorts of plants to keep your garden looking beautiful and green - and in flower all through the flowering season, and the humble Lungwort has its place in this scheme of things.

Think of that old oak at the bottom of your garden that nothing grows under because it's too dark- well, Lungwort will turn the ground beneath that tree into a beautiful carpet of green and white speckled leaves.

Lungwort Leaves and Flowers in Shade - Pulmonaria

Using Lungwort Plant in Gardens or Woods

Lungwort is an excellent means to add colour, greenery and beauty to any spot of ground whether in your garden, or in your woods, that is bare through a lack of sunlight.

With its tiny nodding blue bells of flowers, and its heart shaped leaves with white speckles on them like stars, will brighten and fill those spots of bare earth in no time.

Lungwort Leaves with White Spots and Splashes - Pulmonaria - Ground Cover

At a maximum height of 1.5ft they are pretty ground-hugging, and also deciduous.

Lungwort plant will look even better if you mix it in with some other species such as primroses and ferns look beautiful besides Lungwort, and in between these you can add some bleeding hearts, some hostas, and the occasional daffodil and tulip.

You can also use them on the banks of streams, to bring the greenery of the woods right up to the water's edge.

Soil

Shade Plant Lungwort - Pulmonaria

Like most species that have evolved as forest dwellers, this plant does best in an organically rich and humus-laden soil.

You can use any sort of compost to provide this, but of course leaf compost works best as it replicates the original environment of the plant.

Make sure you keep the soil moist, but never soggy. The plant is hardy and will usually recover from the occasional drought.

Propagation

When you want to propagate established plants, divide them either; in spring after the flowering period is done, or else early in fall.

Lungwort Spotted Leaves Shade Plant - Pulmonaria

You'll find that it isn't an aggressive spreader.

Buy hybrid plants from nurseries as these have been optimized for bloom and length of flowering period.

Generally speaking you should place the plants between 12 and 18 inches apart, and water them well until they are established.

Lungwort Plant for Sale

Look for different varieties such as:

  • Pulmonaria x Apple Frost
  • Pulmonaria x Berries 'N Cream
  • Pulmonaria Long. E.B. Anderson
  • Pulmonaria Longifolia Exclaibur
  • Pulmonaria Majeste

Summary

Lungwort - AKA Bethlehem Sage and Jerusalem Sage is an early growing perennial.

Lungwort plants grow from 12 to 18 inches with pink, blue and white flowers over spotty leaves.

It's not the flower alone that makes this shade tolerant flower so great. The foliage is also captivating with its mottled and speckled green and white leaves.

This plant prefers a rich humus soil that is kept moist. Good composted soil and leaf mould will go a long way to keep this beauty happy. No peat moss as a neutral to slightly alkaline soil is best.

Pulmonaria is its botanical name.

Propagate by seed or division in late autumn.

Cut the spent flower stems back and mulch well for a winters nap.