Alphabetical Plant Listing

Mertensia virginica (Virginian Bluebells)

Bluebells, Virginian Bluebells, Blue and Pink Ladies, Blue Iris, Chiming Bells, Kentucky Bluebells, Roanoke Bells, Smooth Lungwort, Tree Lungwort, Virginian Cowslip, Virginian Spiderwort, Mertensia pulmonarioides


One of the earliest spring bloomers, Mertensia virginica (Virginian Bluebells) is a compact, clump-forming herbaceous perennial boasting terminal clusters of nodding, trumpet-shaped violet-blue flowers, 1 in. (2.5 cm), in early to mid spring. Opening from pink flower buds, the charming blossoms emerge pink before turning sky-blue. They last for many weeks and attract bees, butterflies and moths. The foliage of smooth, oval, soft blue-green leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant. Combine Virginian Bluebells with summer annuals or shade-loving perennials to fill the gaps left by the dormant plants. Enthralled by its unusual beauty, Mertensia virginica has captured the hearts of many gardeners. Easy to grow, this spring ephemeral deserves a spot in the spring garden for the pleasure it provides.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 18-24 in. tall (45-60 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). This plant will slowly spread to form a large colony when happy.
  • Thrives in average, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade.
  • Stunning when massed around shrubs or trees, in sweeping drifts in woodlands or wild areas.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails.
  • Cut back after flowering
  • Propagate by root cuttings in autumn or early winter.
  • Native to eastern North America.

Buy Mertensia virginica (Virginian Bluebells)

Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 18" (30cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Buy Plants


Shutterstock

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 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 18" (30cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Plant Calculator

How many Mertensia virginica (Virginian Bluebells) do I need for my garden?

%
ft
ft

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Mertensia virginica (Virginian Bluebells)

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.