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Mertensia virginica

Virginia bluebells add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: neutral, rich

Height: 1'-2'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: lavender, blue

Leaf Color: green, gray-green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: clumping, colonizing, ephemeral, pond margin plant, shade garden plant, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Flowers of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
  • Flowers of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
  • Flowers of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
  • Flowers of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
  • Colony of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

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Description

Mertensia virginica

Also known as:

Virginia bluebells

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Mertensia pulmonarioides

Description

From large ovate leaves that emerge almost gray, arises a leafy stem terminated in a cluster of pale blue, bell-shaped flowers that are pink in bud. Beautiful in their short season, Virginia bluebells are ephemeral and totally disappear after flowering.

Cultivation

Mertensia virginica is typically found along stream margins, where it might be subjected to occasional flooding. It is a moisture loving species that is adaptable to most garden environments with filtered light. Virginia bluebells are beautiful massed in woodlands and shade gardens. The large clusters of pale blue flowers create wonderful spring interest, and because the foliage will die back completely in late spring, it can be over-planted with summer blooming annuals or perennials. Blooms from March through May. Zones 5-7

Propagation

Propagate by division when plant is dormant. For best results from seed, sow immediately after collecting. Otherwise, cold stratification is recommended.

Additional Notes

Virginia bluebells are a Mid-Atlantic garden classic.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Threatened: MI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Lamiales
Family Boraginaceae Borage family
Genus Mertensia bluebells
Species Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells