Pulmonaria, common name Lungwort, is a semi evergreen, early spring flowering hardy perennial. Pulmonaria are a shade loving plant which prefer moist, but well drained soil, in shade or semi shade and in these conditions with thrive and the plants naturally multipy. Pulmonaria flower very early in the year, late winter/early spring and are attractive to bees providing much needed early nectar in late February, March and April. Pulmonaria flowers are blue, white, pink and some a combination of both.
Pulmonaria are small plants, up to about 35cms and form clumps around 45cms which makes them good for front of borders, or ground cover, and in the right conditions look nice in a woodland border. Many have attractive white spotted leaves such as in the image left 'Sissinghurst White' and also 'Lewis Palmer' both of which are RHS garden merit plants and 'Fruhlingshimmel' Two of the strongest blues in Pulmonarias are 'Mawson's blue' and 'Blue Ensign' , second center image, both of which have unspotted leaves similar to the right image.
Pulmonaria like cool shady conditions and are not generally happy in full sun. When Pulmoniar are grown in too much sun it may scorch their leaves and they will be more prone to mildew. If time allows, when growing Pulmonaria, after flowering, remove any damaged or tired looking leaves which will also make way for the new leaf growth which appears in the summer. Also remove from Pulmonaria any leaves showing signs of mildew. Pulmonaria will show new growth of leaves in the summer. Like Hellebores, the old leaves on Pulmonarias tend to lie at the base of the plant with the new growth in the centre, so it is best to cut off all the old growth near the ground, leaving the new fresh foliage uppermost. When growing Pulmonaria this cutting back of the old leaves will much improve the appearance of the plant.