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Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mer-TEN-see-ah ver-JIN-ih-kah
Description

One of the most beautiful native wildflowers, Virginia bluebells add a touch of class to any garden. They flower when the spring weather is warm and inviting, beckoning gardeners to come outdoors to see their subtle beauty, before going dormant in mid-summer. 

These plants grow best in partial shade and moist, cool soil high in organic matter. Naturally, they can be found in nutrient-rich, moist soils of floodplain forests and thickets. They can be easily propagated by sowing fresh seed or dividing plants in spring. May be difficult to find in the trade.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#blue#perennial#food source#summer flowers#native garden#spring interest#wildflower garden#food source summer#forb#food source spring#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FACW#food source hard mast fruit#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#blue#perennial#food source#summer flowers#native garden#spring interest#wildflower garden#food source summer#forb#food source spring#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FACW#food source hard mast fruit#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Mertensia
    Species:
    virginica
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central Northern America
    Distribution:
    Rich, moist woods, bottomlands in North America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Nodding, trumpet-like 1 in. light blue flowers with five petals, the buds pink. Blooms from spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-8 in. oval, smooth, strongly veined, alternate gray-green basal leaves. Dies to the ground in mid-summer.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Succulent, smooth stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Rabbits