Content Detail

Blue lungwort is a clumping perennial that is often planted in groups to form a ground cover. This species has solid green leaves, whereas other species have spotted foliage.

  • Family (English) Borage
  • Family (botanic) Boraginaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue
  • Shape or form Mounded
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and method of spreading:

Blue lungwort grows eight to 12 inches high and 18 to 24 inches wide. Although it is not typically thought of as a ground cover, it can be planted closely together to provide ground cover visual effect. 

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Europe.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

This plant has both basal and stems leaves, with the stems leaves being alternate. This species of Pulmonaria has leaves up to six inches long. The leaves lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate and are somewhat bristly in appearance. This Pulmonaria species has solid green leaves, while some species have spotted leaves.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The small blue flowers are funnel-shaped and borne in nodding clusters in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The small, dry fruits are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Shady conditions and moist soils are best for growth. Plants grown in dry conditions often don’t look as good.

List of pests and diseases:

Slugs can be a problem with blue lungwort. If it is in a wet site, leaf spots and crown rot can occur. It is resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Azure blue lungwort (Pulmonaria angustifolia ‘Azurea’):

It has sky blue flowers.

Blaues Meer blue lungwort (Pulmonaria angustifolia ‘Blaues Meer’):

This cultivar has large, vivid blue flowers.

Related species

Red lungwort (Pulmonaria rubra):

This species is similar to other lungworts, but has solid green foliage and red flowers.  The leaves are covered with long, soft hairs. It has a hardiness Zone of 4-7. Cultivars include ‘David Ward‘ (green leaves edged in white) and ‘Redstart‘ (coral colored flowers).

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