About this cultivar:
Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare' is, according to Tony Avent of the Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Carolina, the current gold standard for silver-leaf lungworts.... did he mean silver standard? She is a longifolia hybrid discovered by Bob Brown in 1995, who liked it so much he named it after his wife! The long, pointed leaves with a spotted border quickly age to pure silver. The clumps are topped, starting in late February, with short stalks of flowers that open dark violet, but soon age to cobalt blue. By far the tidiest, neatest, densest Pulmonaria we have came across.
- Position: Full sun, Partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: February, March, April, May
- Other features: -
- Hardiness: Fully hardy, grows well in Ballyrobert, H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C)
- Habit: Clump forming
- Foliage: Semi Evergreen
- Height: 15 - 45 cm (0.5 - 1.5 ft)
- Spread: 15 - 45 cm (0.5 - 1.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Green, blue, grey
- Goes well with: Hosta, Heuchera, Hellebore, ferns, and Ophiopogon
About this genus:
Pulmonaria (pul-mona-ait-e-a) is a genus of flowering plants in the forget-me-not family (Boraginaceae), mostly native to Europe and western Asia. According to various estimates there may be between 10 and 18 species found in the wild, but the taxonomy of this genus can get very confusing.
The scientific name Pulmonaria is derived from Latin pulmo (lung). In the times of sympathetic magic, the spotted oval leaves of Pulmonaria officinalis were thought to symbolize diseased, ulcerated lungs, and so were used to treat pulmonary infections. The common name in many languages also refers to lungs, as in English "lungwort". Other colloquial names include soldiers and sailors, spotted dog, Joseph and Mary, Jerusalem cowslip, and Bethlehem sage. (The pink and blue flower combination has earned our native Pulmonaria the common name of soldiers and sailors - because there are pink and blue flowers out together.)
Pulmonaria are evergreen or herbaceous perennials that form clumps or rosettes. It is a wonderful flowering plant that is well known as a shade lover, but in these islands you can usually grow them in full sun. They will grow in any soil that isn't extremely dry or waterlogged.
Pulmonaria cultivars rival Hellebores to be the first flowering perennials in the late winter and early spring. Ane of the earliest plants to bloom, you can be picking its urn shaped flowers in February when the rest of the garden still slumbers. The enchantingly speckled foliage of the Pulmonaria look great all winter and as a non-invasive groundcover.
Try pairing your Pulmonaria with other shade loving, low growing plants like Hosta, Heuchera, Hellebore, ferns, and Ophiopogon.