The deciduous to semi-evergreen hybrid lungwort ‘Dark Vader’ has striking dark green leaves spotted with silver. Pretty flowers are purple-blue. Lungworts originate from central and southern Europe and are grown for early season blooms and a low growing habit.
Lungwort is a clumping plant which spreads slowly via rhizome (underground lateral stem). In late winter to early spring ‘Dark Vader’ produces leafy bloom stalks before or with the foliage. Bell-shaped flowers with spreading petals are held in branched clusters above the foliage. Small fruits are nutlets and follow the flowers.
Lovely mounding plants produce basal rosettes (ground-level arrangement of leaves around a plant’s central stem where it joins the roots) of lance-shaped variegated leaves. The leaves are hairy, rough or velvety. Fast-growing, the plants form dense clumps which should be divided in the fall when crowded.
This perennial prefers moist, shaded conditions. It is thrives in rich organic soils with good drainage bit must not be allowed to dry out. Excessive exposure to sun and dry conditions cause the leaves to scorch. Lungworts grow best where summers and soil are cool. Regular watering is necessary particularly when the weather is hot and dry. Mulch them well to conserve moisture, cool the soil and suppress weeds. If the foliage does go dormant, remove it before growth starts in the spring.
Pulmonaria is usually early in growth and bloom. They are attractive mixed with shrubs, hostas and spring bulbs. Use them as a groundcover, under taller plants as accent, as edging and in front of borders. Lungwort is a good choice for woodland gardens.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Deep Green, Silver
Hellebore – The dark fingered leaves of hellebores contrast well with rough spotted lungwort foliage in shade.
Primrose – Blooming at the same time, yellow English primroses are good companions for lungwort in light shade.
Hosta – The leaves of hosta emerge as the flowers of lungwort are fading and the basal leaves are expanding. Spotted lungwort shows off well against variegated plantain lilies.
Holly fern – The upright fronds of Christmas fern provide textural contrast and a little height to a planting of lungwort in light shade.