Pulmonaria – Lungworts – A Comparison
There are a huge variety of leaf and flower colours and within the Lungworts, so the easy way to choose which one is right for your garden is to look at them all side by side. I’ve arranged them roughly in strength of colour, from white, through shades of blue to purple and then pink.
Evergreen velvety leaves of apple green are handsomely marked with copious white spots. Purest white flowers are borne in early spring. 20cm x 60cm (1×2 ft). Excellent ground cover and a must for the spring garden.
A plant that is never going to set the world alight, but a subtle beauty for those that appreciate its delicate charms. This is the pure white form of the usually red flowered Pulmonaria. It forms a neat mound of pure apple green leaves with clusters of flowers of pure white in green calyces. This variety was previously listed on the NCCPG Pink Sheets – a list of plants in danger of being lost to cultivation.
- Pulmonaria Opal ( Ocupol ). A super new variety of Pulmonaria . Its ground covering leaves are borne in neat rosettes and are heavily decorated with bright silver spots. In spring umbels of opalescent pale blue flowers are produced making it a sheer delight in the winter and spring garden. 25 x 25cm.
This must be the most handsome, almost completely silver foliage I’ve seen. It is set off with a green rim and green leaf base, but is otherwise an even soft greeny silver. In march it is crowded with good trusses of lovely, nicely flared and shaped baby-blue and pink flowers which look outwards rather than down. Opening quite a rich pink it quickly softens to a pastel pink, tinged blue at the edges as if painted in watercolour. the colour changes completely to a soft blue with just a pink eye and the faintest bee lines which are translucent and appear faintly pink. The combination of flower quality, superb foliage and pretty colour combination is sure to make this a firm favourite. Originally from June Blake in Ireland
Pulmonaria ‘Stillingfleet Meg’ comes from Stillingfleet garden in York where it arose and was much admired and subsequently named after the owner’s eldest daughter Meg. Tight mats of narrow dark green, sparsely spotted foliage and tight heads of good clear pink flowers. Just before the flowers are shed they become washed over with baby-blue but the predominant impression is that this a lovely bright pinnk form with tight bunches of slightly pendant funne-shaped flowers. 30cm
- Pulmonaria saccharata ‘Fruhlingshimmel’. Translates to Spring Sky which does seem apt as the relatively large flared funnel-shaped flowers are a strong but light blue. It is quite a short little plant which scoots about the spring woodland garden by way of a gently creeping rhizome producing a bunch of evergreen vaguely mottled greyish green leaves here and there, rather than in one big clump. Tolerates some sun. .
- Pulmonaria ‘Roy Davidson’. An exceptionally good variety which would be worth growing for the startling narrow silver spotted leaves alone. In spring the plant is generously crowned with many stems of pale blue flowers which are small borne in tight bunches. Good ground cover for shade. 30cm spreading.
- Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’. A striking spring flowering perennial forming dense clumps of narrow dark green leaves with bold white spots. The flowers are cobalt-blue with a pinkish cast and long-lasting and borne in tight heads from February to May. Prefers a heavier soil. One of the earlier flowering lungworts and so particularly valuable as a nectar source, pleasing bees and bee-flies alike. More of a clumper than a spreader.
- Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’. A strong vigorous clone producing masses of deep blue flowers throughout early spring. Indeed one of the richest and most strident of blues amongst the lungworts with a particularly large flower. Deep mat-green leaves that are completely without spots. Assorts well with bulbs. Best grown in a moist shaded position; away from hot sun. 30cm
- Pulmonaria ‘Lewis Palmer’ (‘Highdown’). This Pulmonaria makes a big clump excellent for ground cover it’s large leaves are handsomely marked with large silver spots which make a perfect foil in spring for bunches of large really bright blue flowers. A very floriferous and lovely addition to the spring garden worthy of it’s illustrious name.
- Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’. The leaves of this plant look stunning from summer to mid winter being long apple green with almost complete silver guilding. The large violet blue flowers appear in February and continue until May displayed well above the bold clumps of stunning foliage. A excellent all rounder tolerant of some sun or full shade.
A beautiful variety with compact silver spotted foliage and masses of magenta flowers. Good ground cover for shaded areas where its early flowers (March onwards) are excellent nectar sources for insects. 30 x 40 cm.
Narrow leaves and tight crowded heads of flowers in a deep raspberry red. Keeps flowering for a long long time. A bit like a red version of some of the longifolia types