Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Pulmonaria Angustifolia ‘Blue Ensign’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch


Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 30cm

Eventual Spread: 40cm

Hardiness: 3a – 9a

Family:  Boraginaceae

Pulmonaria angustifolia ’Blue Ensign’ is a small, spreading, deciduous perennial. Its mid green (unspotted) leaves are narrow, bristly, borne in ovate clumps and up to 10cm long. The  flowers are blue/ violet in colour, held in clusters against the foliage, are funnel shaped and compact. 

Pulmonaria angustifolia ’Blue Ensign’ is commonly known as Lungwort ‘Blue Ensign’. The species  P. angustifolia is native to Europe, possibly including the UK.  The common name Lungwort refers to a member of this genus’ historic use, as it was though to help cure lung disease. The variety ‘Blue Ensign’ os one of the earliest flowering Pulmonaria.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pulmonaria is derived from the Latin pulmo ‘lungs’ in reference to its historic use. Angustifolia is derived from the Latin angustus ‘narrow’ and folium ‘leaf’.

Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign‘ useful in woodland setting or as understory ground cover as it can tolerate full shade. The plant may die back in hot dry periods and will recover when the temperature falls.

Ecologically,  P. angustifolia ’Blue Ensign’ is attractive to pollinating insects, including Bumble Bees

P. angustifolia ’Blue Ensign’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

P. angustifolia ’Blue Ensign’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be lifted and divided in autumn.

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