Heartleaf Brunnera, Siberian Bugloss
This blue perennial is great for a woodland shade garden or in naturalized areas.
Filed under: Spring Gardening, Perennials, Foliage Plants, Groundcovers, Low Maintenance Gardening, Spring
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Plant type: Herbaceous perennial; groundcover
Botanical name: Brunnera macrophylla
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 8
Valued for its airy, beautiful true-blue flowers over heart-shaped foliage. Low maintenance perennial with mounding habit. Blooms in early to late spring. Some selections offer variegated foliage. Plant size ranges from 12 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide.
How to use it: In masses or in containers. Use in a mixed perennial border, a woodland shade garden or naturalized area. Combine with other spring-flowering shade perennials or shrubs.
Culture: Prefers a rich, moist, well-drained soil in a partially shaded site. Requires consistent moisture in order to prevent browning of the leaves. Does not tolerate dry soils. In the South, plant in full shade with moist soil. In the North, it can tolerate more sun. Divide plants when the center of the clump starts to deteriorate. Propagated through seed, root cuttings or division. Readily self sows once established. No serious insect or disease problems.
Special notes: The variegated forms of heartleaf brunnera are difficult to propagate and, as a result, may be more expensive to purchase.
- 'Jack Frost'. Sport of 'Langtrees' (which has silver spots on the outer rim of the leaves). Striking variegated foliage is frosted in a silvery white. Green veins are prominent through the silver leaf color. USDA Zones 3 to 8.
- 'Variegata'. Delicate blue flowers dangle above green-and-white variegated foliage. The foliage on its own is attractive and is enhanced with the flowers.
A gardener who's also a painter talks about some of his favorites in his living "canvas."