Mertensia virginica

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 7 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Virginia bluebells
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Boraginaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Virginia bluebells is a native Missouri wildflower that occurs statewide in moist, rich woods and river floodplains. An erect, clump-forming perennial which grows 1-2' tall and features loose, terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped, blue flowers (to 1" long) which bloom in early spring. Flower buds are pink and flowers emerge with a pinkish cast before turning blue. Smooth, oval, bluish green leaves (to 4" long). Foliage dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best massed and left undisturbed in moist, shady woodland, wildflower or native plant gardens. Clumps may be sprinkled in borders or rock gardens, but, since plants go dormant in summer, they must be overplanted with annuals or used in conjunction with perennials (as ferns or hostas) which will expand as the growing season progresses.