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Virginia Bluebells

Mertensia virginica

Photo: Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells
Virginia Bluebells

Type: Herbaceous perennial Family: Boraginaceae

Spring bloomer

Virginia bluebells is a  wildflower native to eastern U.S. woodlands that occurs statewide in moist, rich woods and river floodplains. An erect, clump-forming perennial which grows 1-2' tall and features loose, terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped, blue flowers (to 1" long) which bloom in early spring. Flower buds are pink and flowers emerge with a pinkish cast before turning blue. Smooth, oval, bluish green leaves (to 4" long). Foliage dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant.


Best massed and left undisturbed in moist, shady woodland, wildflower or native plant gardens. Clumps may be sprinkled in borders or rock gardens, but, since plants go dormant in summer, they must be overplanted with annuals or used in conjunction with perennials (as ferns or hostas) which will expand as the growing season progresses.

Plant requirements

part shade to full shade


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich soils. No serious insect or disease problems.

Practical use

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