Content Detail

Siberian bugloss has large, fuzzy, heart-shaped leaves which support a cloud of tiny true blue flowers in the spring. Often used as a groundcover or naturalized in shady spots.

  • Family (English) Borage
  • Family (botanic) Boraginaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 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
  • Tolerances Dry sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue
  • Shape or form Mounded
  • Growth rate Moderate


Siberian bugloss grows 12 to 18 inches high and wide. Clumps slowly spread to form thick groundcover.

Native geographic location and habitat:

This plant is native to Turkey and the Caucasus mountains.

Attracts birds or pollinators:

Butterflies are attracted to the flowers in spring.

Leaf description:

Bright green leaves at the base are heart-shaped and fuzzy and up to 8 inches long. Leaves on the stems are smaller. Dark green leaves increase in size over the summer, creating lush mounds.

Flower description:

Clouds of intensely blue, star-shaped flowers appear in April and May above the leaves.

Fruit description:

The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Plant care:

Grow in partial to full shade. Leaves will burn in more sun. Prefers uniformly moist soil, but will tolerate drier soils in a shady location once established. Cut dead leaves or cut to the ground midsummer if the leaves start to decline, as this will encourage a flush of new growth. Reseeds well in moist soil, but mainly at the base of the plant. Divide in spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Siberian bugloss has no serious pests or diseases. The plant may decline mid-summer in dry, hot areas. The fuzzy, leathery leaves are unattractive to rabbits and deer.

Alexanders Great Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexanders Great’):

A large version of the species, Alexanders Great Siberian bugloss can get up to 3 feet wide. The leaves are silver colored with green venation.

Jack Frost Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’):

Silver, heart-shaped leaves have light green veins.

Looking Glass Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Looking Glass’):

This cultivar starts with white-silver leaves with thin green veins and gradually loses the color of the veins until the leaf is completely silver-gray.

Sea Heart Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Sea Heart’):

This cultivar stays more green along the veins, giving the leaves a two-tone effect. The foliage stands up well to heat and humidity

Silver Heart Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’):

Bold white and green leaves create the backdrop for the blue flowers in spring on a compact plant, which only gets about 12 inches tall. Leaves are more scorch resistant than the species.

Variegated Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Variegata’):

This older cultivar has wide, irregular white margins on bright green leaves.


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