London (change)
13 messages
09/08/2014 at 13:19

I'm a bit of a beginner and in the process of clearing out my rockery which has been taken over by weeds and wondering what these two plants are and should I leave them.  I want to fill the rockery with lots of heather


09/08/2014 at 13:21

The first one is pulmonaria. The second one could be persicaria?

09/08/2014 at 13:47
Yup, defenately pulmonaria, the other could be a few things, did it have any flowers this year?
Dont mess with the pulmonaria without gloves, its got little hairs all over- makes me come up in hives!
09/08/2014 at 13:52

2 might be Centaurea montana

09/08/2014 at 15:08

Thanks guys - thats it . googled Centaurea montana and recognised the flowers . 


Thank you so much

09/08/2014 at 15:16

The pulmonaria has interesting flowers in spring which change colour as they mature, and seems to do well under my apple tree where it is rather dry and a bit shady.  It is rather prone to mildew, but can be cut back hard if it starts to look too awful.  The centaurea also is rather rampant, and sadly only blooms for a short while in later spring after which it sprawls and I cut mine back.

10/08/2014 at 08:57

Thanks Gardening Granny - I was a bit undecided if I should keep them or just clear it out and start afresh

10/08/2014 at 09:03

I love pulmonaria and so do the bees, an excellent plant for shade and never a problem to remove if it spreads to much.

But the centaurea

A nice blue, but deep rooted and as gg says, short flowering. Mine usually falls over before it flowers.

10/08/2014 at 10:49

the pulmonaria is also known as american bluebell

I also have a variety called longifolia - much more compact and less rampant and gorgeous raspberry red flowers but you don't often see the varieties in the big garden centres

10/08/2014 at 10:53

American bluebell? I didn't know that. Another source of confusion

10/08/2014 at 10:54

I also love pulmonaria, in true cottage garden days it used to be called 'soldiers and sailors' . 

10/08/2014 at 10:57

and lungwort is another old name, the spotted leaves are said to look like lungs so it cures lung disease


10/08/2014 at 17:03

keeping the pulmonaria but I think I may just remove the centaurea sounds a bit more bother than its worth. I do like the spotty leaves of the pulmonaria so it gets a reprieve 

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13 messages