|Soil:||Sand, Loam, Clay|
|Zones:||4, 5, 6, 7|
|Color:||Pink, Lavender, Blue|
The distinctive blue-pink flowers of Mertensia virginica appear soon after snow melts. Native to the eastern U.S. this unique woodland wildflower is a true harbinger of spring. Long-lived, the plant expands slowly to form beautiful clumps that return year after year. Early season pollinators appreciate the blooms. Long-tongued bees such as bumblebees and mason bees provide cross-pollination during their visits. Other nectar seeking visitors include the Giant Bee Fly, butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths.
Note: Virginia Bluebells go completely dormant in summer. If they are planted too late in the spring, Bluebells may go straight into dormancy without exhibiting any growth. Look for them to emerge the following spring. Bluebells are best planted along with other perennials, such as ferns, which will expand and cover the planting area, as the growing season progresses.
In the garden, Virginia Bluebells prefers a rich, moist soil. Use natural leaf mulch to help enrich the soil and create the right environment for this choice species. As a member of the borage family, which are often covered with bristly hairs, Mertensia virginica stands out with its smooth, oval grayish green foliage.
Also known as: Virginia Cowslip, Lungwort or Roanoke bells