Pulmonaria, proven Terra Nova® Nurseries introductions
Common name: Lungwort
All the described varieties have been protected by breeder rights in Europe and the USA. Asexual propagation is strictly prohibited
Pulmonaria belongs to the family Boragináceae. This family is derived from the plant community of Borágo, an old Latin name of unknown provenance.
The name Pulmonaria has been derived from the Latin name pulmo (pulmonis) which means: lung.
In the middle-ages, herbalists believed that the spots on the leaves of Pulmonaria had borne a resemblance to lung disease, as described in The Doctrine of Signatures. This book theorized that Pulmonaria is a medicinal herb, and was a remedy against lung disease or had a beneficial effect on the lungs and would cure that particular part of the body.
Pulmonaria consists of about 12 commonly grown species of hairy herbaceous to evergreen perennials widely spread from Europe to the Caucasuses and Russia. In general, Pulmonaria like moist soil, but the new varieties do very well in average garden soil and are drought tolerant.
The young fresh leaves of Pulmonaria also can be used in salads and soups. The older leaves could be cut at the end of the spring / beginning of the summer to be dried for producing homoeopathic medicines. (Herba pulmonariae; Folia pulmonariae)
Pulmonaria are perennials that grow from a basal rosette. The leaves are large, typically silver-spotted, and low growing, with hairy tops and undersides. Most of the Pulmonaria keep their leaves in winter and become deciduous slightly in spring, just before the regrowth begins. The coarseness of the leaves is helpful, as it is distasteful to deer in summer.
These new Pulmonaria, introduced by Terra Nova® Nurseries are far more heat and humidity tolerant. Vigorous, mildew-free leaves, topped by strongly colored flowers in corals, reds and blues enhance the early spring value. Today’s consumers love the fact that Pulmonaria are excellent early hummingbird food plants and they feed foraging honey bees early in the season.
Pulmonaria is not an old fashioned plant any more. Pulmonaria are becoming more and more popular recently. Garden designers are aware of the extra value of Pulmonaria in the garden and are useful in areas where deer are a problem. It is nearly the earliest blooming perennial in the garden giving bees and birds their first sip of nectar. The leaf colors show much diversity with an assortment of silver splashes over differing green backgrounds. Pulmonaria combine wonderfully with Corydalis and Dicentra.