Alphabetical Plant Listing

Mertensia lanceolata (Prairie Bluebells)

Prairie Bluebells, Narrowleaf Bluebells


Mertensia lanceolata (Prairie Bluebells) is a compact, clump-forming herbaceous perennial with one to several slightly arching stems boasting terminal clusters of small, nodding, bell-shaped, dark blue to pale blue to pinkish-purple flowers in late spring to early summer. The leaves are typically broad, lanceolate, alternate, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), with a prominent center vein. However, this Mertensia species is quite variable, in terms of flower color, form and leaf shape. Growing singly or in clusters, Prairie Bluebells is native to dry hillsides, plains, woodland openings, between 5,000 and 12,000 feet in the Rocky Mountain states and the northern Great Plains. Easy to grow, this spring ephemeral deserves a spot in the rock garden for the pleasure it provides.

  • Grows up to 8-14 in. tall (20-35 cm). This plant will slowly spread to form a small colony about 2 ft. wide (60 cm).
  • Thrives in gravelly, sandy, moist, well-drained soil in part shade.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails.
  • Native to western North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 8" – 2' (20cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, New Mexico
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 8" – 2' (20cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, New Mexico
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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