Pulmonaria officinalis
Garden Plant Information

Pulmonaria officinalis


Pulmonaria officinalis



Pulmonaria officinalis (also called lungwort)







General description

Hardy, semi-evergreen, herbaceous perennial. Grown for early flowers in shades from dark blue to pink and its silver mottled leaves. Pulmonaria provides welcome colour in early spring and is a good ground cover plant for shady areas.


Very attractive to pollinating insects.

Season of interest

Flowers in early spring.

Key horticultural features

  1. Habit - clump-forming, fairly upright. H: up to 30cm. S: 90cm

  2. Stems - green, hairy, straight.

  3. Leaves - simple, ovate, hairy, dark green with silvery-white mottling.

  4. Flowers - trumpet shaped, arranged in loose terminal clusters, colours  range from pink and blue, though white flowers are also seen. Up to 5-10mm across with five petals.


Cultural details


Sun or partial shade.


Moisture retentive but not wet, humus rich.


Fully hardy.


Remove older ragged-looking leaves as they age and divide clumps every three to five years. Plants cut back after flowering will produce a new flush of silver spotted leaves in autumn.


In dry weather, powdery mildew can be a problem. This can be helped by mulching and watering well in dry conditions. Young leaves are often attacked by slugs and snails, though older leaves tend not to be bothered. Sparrows are also known to peck off the flowers in spring, as they do with other flowering plants such as yellow crocuses and primroses.



Divide clumps every three to five years after flowering or in autumn, take root cuttings in winter. Sow seed outdoors as soon as it is ripe. Will also self seed but cultivars will probably not come true from seed.