Pulmonaria lungwort

(pul-meh-nair' ee-ah)

Common name: Lungwort

Family: Boraginaceae, Borage

Height x width: 9-24" x 18-24", usually 12" x 24"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: green spotted white foliage on many cultivars, a few mostly silver or all green

Flowers: red to blue, often red-pink turning blue as they fade; early spring

Hardiness: 2-8, varies with species

Soil: moist

Light: part shade, will tolerate sun in north if kept moist

Pests and problems:bacterial rot, powdery mildew, aphids

Landscape habit, uses: low mound, front of border, groundcover

Other interest: common name of "soldiers and sailors" from two color flowers often seen on plants at same time; common name from 15th century Doctrine of Signatures of Paracelsus which implied the appearance of a plant cured similar appearing ailment, hence this spotted-leaved plant should cure diseased lungs

Other culture: spreads by creeping rootstocks but is not aggressive

Propagation: easy by division of rootstocks in Spring, seed


angustifolia(an-gus-te-fol' ee-ah)--zones 2-8, bright blue flowers, 9-12" height, competes well under trees, foliage holds up better in the north, unspotted leaves, from central Europe

longifolia(lon-ge-fol' ee-ah)--zones 3-8, purple-blue flowers, 9-12" height, good species for the south, gray-spotted dark green leaves, leaves up to 6 times as long as wide, from western Europe

mollis(mol' iss)--zones 3-8, bluish-purple flowers, 9-12" height, soft felty green unspotted leaves, from Europe through Siberia


officinalis(o-fish' e-nal-iss)--zones 4-8, red to rose-violet flowers usually, 9-12" height, white spotted leaves, from Europe


rubra (ru' bra)(montana)--zones 4-7, bright to coral red flowers early, 12-24" height, light green unspotted foliage is evergreen in mild climates, from southeast Europe

saccharata (sack-ehr-ah' tah)(picta)--zones 3-8, pink flowers turn blue with age, 9-18" height, many new cultivars with highly and variously spotted foliage, species from appearance of sugar dusted over leaves, from Italy and France

vallarsae(val-lehr' cee)--zones 4-8, red turning purple, 9-18" height, heavily spotted to all silvery-white, less softly hairy than P. mollis, from Italy

Cultivars, other taxa species flowers leaves
'Alba' officinalis white spotted
'Alba' saccharata white spotted
subsp. albocorollata rubra pure white felted green
'Apple Frost' --   silver spots, apple green
Argentea group saccharata pink turning blue good spots
subsp. azurea angustifolia gentian-blue green
'Barfield Pink' rubra brick red, white margins felted green
'Benediction' -- dark blue, long bloom dark green, large spots
'Berries and Cream' -- rosy pink silvery
'Bertram (E.B.) Anderson' longifolia cobalt to violet-blue dark green, silver spots
'Beth's Blue' -- rich blue faintly spotted
'Beth's Pink' -- coral red spotted, broad
'Blaues Meer' angustifolia very blue green
'Blue Ensign' -- large, rich blue broad, dark green
'Blue Mist' officinalis pale, clear blue heavily spotted
'Bowles Blue' officinalis very pale blue spotted
'Bowles Red' rubra deep red to coral rose spotted lime green
'Boughton Blue' -- clear blue silvery-gray blotches
'British Sterling' -- magenta open blue silvery centers, shiny
Cambridge (Blue) group officinalis pink opens pale blue heart-shaped, spotted
subsp. cevennensis longifolia dark violet spotted, long, clumps
'David Ward' rubra coral red pale green edged white
'Dora Bielefeld' saccharata persistent pink, early lime green, silver spots
'Excalibur' -- wine turning pink silver, green margins
'Frühlingshimmel' saccharata pale blue spotted ('Spring Beauty')
'Glacier' -- pale blue, pink, white dark green, silver spots
'Highdown': 'Lewis Palmer' saccharata    
'Janet Fisk' saccharata pinkish-blue very spotted, marbled
'Johnson's Blue' angustifolia blue green, narrow
'Kingswood' -- blue white on dark green
'Leopard' saccharata red tinted pink or purple silver blotches
'Lewis Palmer' -- deep blue fading pink long dark green, silver
'Little Star' -- azure blue, long bloom narrow, silver spots
'Margery Fish' vallarsae pink tinted blue mostly bright silver 
'Mawson's Blue' -- bright violet-blue green
'Merlin' -- pale pink and blue spotted, short
'Milky Way' -- wine red opens dark blue narrow, many silver spots
'Mournful Purple' (Widow) -- purple broad, faintly spotted
'Mrs. Kittle' -- light rose dark green, white spots
'Mrs. Moon' saccharata pink turning blue silvery-white marbled
'Munstead Blue' angustifolia rich blue green
'Nuernberg' -- pink and blue silver-white spots
Opal ('Ocupol') -- white
'Pierre's Pure Pink' saccharata salmon-pink uniform spots
'Pink Dawn' saccharata pink silver spotted
'Redstart' rubra dark red green, compact
'Regal Ruffles' -- ruffled  
'Reginald Kaye' saccharata pink turning blue silver spots 
'Roy Davidson' -- pink turning blue blue-green, silver spots
rubra:P. rubra angustifolia    
'Silver Streamers' --   ruffled, mostly silver
'Sissinghurst White' officinalis large white silver-white spots
'Spangled Gentian' -- gentian blue long, narrow green
'Smokey Blue' saccharata pink fading blue silvery spotted
'Spilled Milk' -- pink silver, green specks, wide
'Tim's Silver' saccharata mid blue silver, green rim
'Weetwood Blue' vallarsae clear, true blue heavy silver
'White Wings' officinalis white, pink eye, late spotted


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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