Lungwort

'Bertram Anderson' Long-leaf Lungwort;
or, Narrow-leaved Pulmonaria


"The little woodland theatre seems to wait,
All tremulous with hope and wistful joy,
For something that is sure to come at last,
Some deep emotion, satisfying, great."

-Amy Lowell
(1874-1925)

   

Pulmonaria longifolia'Bertram Anderson' Long-leaf or Longleafed Lungwort was for years the standard gardened form, until 'Little Star' & other newer cultivars began either to displace it in growers' stocks or at least forced 'Bertram Anderson' to share the marketplace with increasing varieties.

Besides this pulmonaria, there is a sedum, a thyme, & a snowdrops named for Gloucestershire garden writer Edward Bertram Anderson, author of such books as Seven Gardens: Sixty Years of Gardening (1973).

It is more heat-hardy than the majority of pulmonarias & can be grown further south than most. In warmer areas it is evergreen, but in the Pacific Northwest it is a die-back perennial. This hardy shade plant starts out the year in late winter & early spring with deep Prussian blue flowers, followed by slender speckled leaves.

It can clump to twelve inches but usually smaller, & can very slowly spread to two feet though usually only one foot.Clumps can be propagated by autumn or spring division once every few years.

Early flower stems stand upright, but as the leaves are developing, lingering flowers tend to trail away from the heart of the spidery clump. These blooms have considerable beauty. They start out as pink buds, darking to a rich blue when fully opened.

The leaves are eight inches to a foot long & generally regarded as ornamentally even more important than the bright flowers. The knife-shaped leaves are a deep sea-green with sharply contrasting white pokadots.

In summer it needs to be kept moist & shaded for the speckled leaves to remain vibrant, but if it does get scorched or desicated, trim it back for unsightliness; the root will still be healthy & the plant will still return.

Protection from too much sun or droughty conditions renders it thereafter a low-maintance perennial.

Continue to:
P. longifolia ssp cevennensis x saccharata 'Silver Bouquet'

   



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