Skip to site navigation

Mertensia virginica AGM

Home  |  Plants > Plant Selector > Mertensia virginica AGM

© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Blue in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

Virginian bluebells

Family

Boraginaceae


Mertensia are herbaceous perennials with usually grey-green or blue-green leaves and nodding, blue, tubular or narrowly bell-shaped flowers

M. virginica is a compact herbaceous perennial with branched stems to 45cm in height, with oval, greyish leaves and terminal clusters of nodding, funnel-shaped violet-blue flowers 2cm in length

Other common names

  • blue and pink ladies
  • blue iris
  • bluebells
  • chiming bells
  • Kentucky bluebells
  • Roanoke bells
  • smooth lungwort
  • tree lungwort
  • Virginian cowslip
  • Virginian spiderwort

Synonym(s)

  • Mertensia pulmonarioides

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil in partial shade

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam, Chalk or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by root cuttings in autumn or early winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Flower borders and beds or Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs


How to care

Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

May be attacked by slugs and snails

Diseases

Generally disease free