Pulmonaria (Lungwort) pull-muh-NAIR-ee-uh
The Pulmanaria genus includes roughly 18 species of evergreen or herbaceous perennials, mostly native to Europe and Western Asia. Also called Lungwort, it is typically a low-growing plant with fuzzy green speckled basal leaves from which early spring flowers arise on stalks as much as 18 inches tall. The flowers are bell- or funnel-shaped with five petals, usually starting out pinkish in color then maturing to a violet blue. Flower color, however, can vary by species and cultivar. This clump-forming plant is known mostly as a perennial landscape flower for shady locations that emerges and blooms when most other plants are barely poking their heads out of the ground. Because the flowers fade rather quickly, it is really the appeal of the foliage that makes this a valuable landscape plant. Lungwort is best planted in late summer to fall from potted nursery plants, though spring planting is also generally successful. It has a moderate growth rate and the rhizomatous roots will spread gradually to colonize a shady area.