The lungwort is named after its mottled leaves, which were supposed to resemble lungs. Different varieties produce different leaf markings, which look their best in mid spring when putting on fresh growth after flowering. They make excellent ground-cover plants, especially for shady borders. Funnel-shaped flowers are borne in shades of blue, violet, pink, purple, red and white. They're extremely attractive to bees, particularly the hairy footed flower bee, Anthophora plumipes.
Pulmonaria 'Lewis Palmer' bears clusters of nodding flowers that open pink before turning bright blue, in contrast with spotted dark green leaves. It looks good with other early blue flowers such as brunnera and omphalodes, or with the yellow flowers of primroses and early daffodils. Plants make good trouble-free ground cover for moist shade. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
Grow Pulmonaria 'Lewis Palmer' in moist but well-drained soil, in sun to partial shade. Remove old leaves after flowering.
Cultivar: Lewis Palmer
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Blue
Foliage colour: Silver variegation
Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Soil: Clay/heavy, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: September to November
Flowering period: March to April
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