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Mertensia virginica, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia
Mertensia virginica, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia

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Zones 1-9, 14-21
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Regular Water

Mertensia virginica

Virginia Bluebells
Perennials, Flowers


Resemble giant-size forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and belong to the same family. Plants emerge and flower early, then go dormant soon after going to seed (usually before midsummer). Typically smooth, gray-green or blue-green leaves. Nodding, bell-shaped flowers are carried in gradually uncoiling clusters. Buds are pink or lavender, openingto blue flowers that sometimeshave a pinkish cast. Goodin woodland gardens.

Provide moist, rich soil. Use summer annuals to fill voidafter plants die back. Clumpscan be left in place indefinitely;they will slowly spread. Toincrease a planting, transplantvolunteer seedlings or dig anddivide the clump in early fall.

Mertensia virginica

From eastern U.S. Most widely planted species. To 1–2 ft. high and 1 1/2 ft. wide, with 1-in. flowers.

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