Virginia bluebells is a native wildflower found in moist woodlands and river flood plains in eastern North America from New York to Minnesota up into Canada (Ontario and Quebec), and from Kansas to Alabama. They are petiolate at the bottom of the flower stem and sessile at the top. As I have stated before, bluebells are mostly found in Mediterranean basin. Virginia Bluebells . ex Link – Virginia bluebells Subordinate Taxa. Virginia bluebells was first collected in Virginia by Peter Kalm, a student of Linnaeus, and initially described by Linnaeus as a species of Pulmonaria, a related European genus.More than 40 years later, a German botanist, Albrecht Roth, realized that this species was different enough to warrant being placed in a new genus; he named it Mertensia in honor of another German botanist, F. C. Mertens. forms: { Virginia Bluebells can look quite stunning as a small wildflower patch or border garden that gets partial shade. It is one of the earliest plants to bloom in the Spring, giving you a lush pink-purple-blue carpet that is packed with pollinators. A sure sign of spring’s impending arrival is the masses of bright blue flowers of Virginia bluebells borne above its fresh green foliage. Like the flowers, the jellyfish are also quite colorful! The decades of leaf-litter decay provide substantial organic matter, which creates a loamy soil that is perfect for this plant. *This species may be difficult and/or … Formerly strictly a wildflower, today it flourishes in Zones 3 through 9 as a popular garden addition. This helps support our website.). It has beautiful flowers with pastel pink buds that open into true blue that attract bees and butterflies. Flowers are about an inch long, blue and trumpet-shaped, formed from five attached petals. Plant Virginia Bluebells in moist, rich loamy soil with partial sun for the best growing results. If ... Are Virginia Bluebells Invasive? Mertensia virginica is one of about 40 species in this genus of herbaceous perennials with blue, bell-shaped flowers. callback: cb Both the English bluebell and the Spanish bluebell are cultivated as ornamentals for their attractive clusters of blue bell-shaped flowers. Primary Facts. But, Virginia Bluebells will also be visited by Spring butterflies and moths. Welcome to Growit Buildit! With a total stalk height of 2 feet, Virginia bluebells will usually begin turning blue shortly after they have finished blooming. Virginia bluebells Interesting Notes. Bluebells (Virginia Cowslip) Mertensia virginica . Just remember, they will go dormant. Or, you can refrigerate the seed until Fall/Winter in a zip-lock bag, and direct sow then or winter-sow them. I make over 50... DIY Plastic Plant Tray Holder - Gardening Hack. The bud opens to reveal a clear blue, trumpet shaped flower. Bluebells were voted England’s favorite. Like most spring ephemerals, Virginia bluebells emerge early in the season before significant leaf cover, bloom, and go dormant by mid-June. There will be a light green central stalk/stem that will be 1-2.5′ tall (30-75 cm). Unwanted seedlings can be pulled quite easily though. According to the ASPCA, Virginia Bluebells are non-toxic to cats, dogs and horses. Native to North America, bluebells are charming woodland plants that thrive in partial to full shade. Dogs tend to nibble on the bluebells on walks and the bulb may cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. One of our most stunning early spring wildflowers, bluebells is also a popular native plant for gardening. I waited until plants went dormant, and all of the leaves turned yellow and were laying on the ground. In cultivation, M. virginica has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Native from Arkansas/Kansas, then North to Ontario Canada. That is where you typically find it in the wild, and it is always best to take a cue from nature as to how best to cultivate a plant. Virginia Bluebells will have alternate leaves along the stalk that are 4-7″ long (10-18 cm) by ~3″ wide (9 cm). "Nomenclature of the Virginia-bluebell, Wildflower.org: Native Plant Identification Network, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mertensia_virginica&oldid=966115268, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2019, Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 July 2020, at 05:13. When the flower is ready for pollination, it increases the alkalinity of the flower, changing the color to blue. Blooming starts in early to mid spring with the formation of pink buds that later mature into lavender-blue flowers. However, Virginia Bluebells will self seed. } It seemed to do well. This plant is a bee magnet! It’s fairly easy to establish large plantings. Free Shipping on … How to Grow Virginia Bluebells. More Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. Description of Virginia bluebells: Virginia bluebells grow 2 feet tall and form dense colonies in wooded areas in early spring. Also, be aware that this plant grows slowly from seed, like Blue False Indigo. Gather some seed heads and take them home. event : evt, Virginia Bluebells is a great nectar source for early season pollinators. The flower buds of Virginia bluebells are pink due to a chemical called anthocyanin. Butterflies are the most common pollinators because they can easily perch on the edges and still enjoy the nectar. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over six years. Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. Clusters of small, trumpet-shaped flowers nodding from a single sturdy stem look stunning in any garden location. (No worries, we won’t spam you.). I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). [2][3], Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in Ohio, Typical blue-flowered form at the botanical gardens in Berlin, Germany, Mertensia virginica is the type species for the genus Mertensia and was first described by Linnaeus in 1753 as Pulmonaria virginica. We are a husband and wife duo. Virginia Bluebells prefer soils typical of a woodland - a little on the wet side. Composting 102 - Building a Basic Compost Pile. listeners: [], But that is about all the maintenance this plant requires. This plant has no children Legal Status. Bluebell, genus of 11 species of bulbous perennial plants native to Eurasia. One of them even bloomed. We have ordered a variety of native flower seeds from Everwilde Farms, which you can order right from Amazon through our link on our RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS PAGE. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( I amended the soil with compost as I transplanted it. Virginia bluebells have rounded and gray-green leaves, borne on stems up to 24 in (60 cm) tall. I always see them packed with bumble bees as well as other bee species. It is is a species of flowering plant in the Boraginaceae family, and it is native to moist woodlands in (eastern) North America.. Bluebells' soft, herbaceous foliage is a great texture complement to the rigid and straplike foliage of many bulbs. James S. Pringle. link to Composting 102 - Building a Basic Compost Pile, link to DIY Plastic Plant Tray Holder - Gardening Hack. The plant increases in size each year with almost no care. I have grown it in clay before, but added a generous amount of compost when planting. Virginia bluebells grow from one to two feet in height. Many internet sources and people over-complicate the art of making compost. The scientific names of plants are supposed to make our lives easier as gardeners, giving precision where there would otherwise be cha… These lovely plants are in the family Boraginaceae, which makes them relatives of other familiar species like Forget-me-not, Lungwort, and Comfrey. Then, I dug up the plant, getting as much of the tap-root as I could. Transplanting while in … But there is … When immature, the flower petals are pink, changing to a rich purple-blue as the bloom opens up. Get our new content sent to your inbox. (function() { Their native habitat is moist woodland … No need for fancy tools or big budgets! We like to reuse plant 'flats' that you get from garden centers. Leave this field empty if you're human: Hi - I grew up outdoors in nature - hiking, fishing, hunting. The blooms are shaped like bells (hence the common name). They are borne in mid-spring in nodding spiral-shaped cymes at the end of arched stems. The common name comes from the shape of the flowers, as they look like little blue bells. Flowering will last for approximately 3 weeks, when the bloom will dry and generate a fruit. Buds are small and pink. Flower buds are pink and turn lavender-blue as they age. It is best to plant these perennials in Fall or late Winter before they begin to bloom for the Early-Spring season. Hardy from zones 3-8, check your USDA zone, Native from Arkansas/Kansas, then North to Ontario Canada. Then, you can either plant them directly (knowing that germination will not happen until the following year). Our Virginia Bluebells are blooming now and the color is incredible. Bluebells are also called ‘fairy flowers.’ According to an old myth fairies used bluebells to lure and … A rather low-growing woodland wildflower, Virginia Blue Bells will rarely be more than 2′ tall (60 cm). Botanists now want us to call Spanish bluebells Hyacinthoides hispanica. It is a native plant, so has evolved to thrive without special treatment or extra fertilizer. The fruit will contain several seeds. Native to North America, this perennial plant is one of the prettiest wildflowers. Virginia Bluebells are a native North American wildflower that can be found growing in wet, precious woods, reaching heights of 18-24 inches tall. Virginia bluebells grow 18" … Each year, after the snow melts and the ground softens from the harsh winter, Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica, and other wildflower shoots push their way through the warming soil to absorb as much sunlight as they can before the tree leaves block them with shade. } A colony of bluebells is truly an amazing sight to behold! Email address: In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. bluebells_3-26-12.jpg. Though Virginia Bluebells do grow profusely in some areas of Virginia it is actually a common plant of the Midwest, not the East. There will be clusters of blooms (~20 blooms) from the top of the stalk that kind of hang down, similar to a street lamp. Some Fun Facts About Virginia Bluebells Virginia bluebells were given their botanical name, Mertensia virginica, in honor of German botanist Franz Carl Mertens. Leaves are green and oval-shaped, growing up to four inches in length. He with a love & extensive self-taught knowledge of NATIVE PLANTS, GARDENING, and woodworking. The oval leaves are smooth and are green with a purplish-blue tinge. The foliage will go dormant in mid-summer; therefore, incorporate ferns, hostas, and other summer perennials to add interest in the woodland garden later in the growing season. When it comes to growing Virginia bluebells, they are a lot easier than you may think. No diseases seem to effect this plant. They can also be a great plant for a woodland garden, or strip that borders shade trees. In a 2015 Spring poll by botanical charity Plantlife, bluebells … We hope to provide you with handy how-tos to start or enhance your own home gardens, as well as provide you with plans on how to make some popular home decor projects, both easily & inexpensively. And East to the Atlantic Ocean covering all areas in between, Climate Change appears to be pushing these plants (as well as the whole ecosystem) to, Depending on your location, this can be a, Although most often observed on the forest borders, tree falls can open up. The Cherokee used the plant to treat whooping cough and tuberculosis. on: function(evt, cb) { This is one of our Top 3 Early Spring Perennials you should grow. I hope to give you some tips and useful information! In early summer, each fertilized flower produces four seeds within wrinkled nuts, and the plant goes dormant till the next spring. The common name comes from the shape of the flowers, as they look like little blue bells. Flowering will generally last for several weeks. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { Still, Vital Pet Health and Blue Cross for Pets in the U.K. caution our canine friends to avoid this popular plant in the British woodlands. By Julie Christensen. Bluebells enjoy rich, well-drained soils where they can form large colonies over time. Virginia bluebells grow from 1 to 2 feet tall. The stamens and stigma are spaced too far apart for self-fertilization. I wrapped the taproot in a sopping-wet paper towel, and then transplanted it to it’s new location within an hour or so. NPS Photo. Bede from Minnesota on May 07, 2018: Thanks Linda for another interesting article. It requires about a 2 month cold/moist stratification period. When Albrecht Wilhelm Roth erected the genus Mertensia in 1797, he named the Virginia bluebell as Mertensia pulmonarioides, apparently unaware that Linnaeus had already named it in his Species Plantarum. Seed should be kept moist until spring, when the warm temperatures will germinate them. And East to the Atlantic Ocean covering all areas in between. Have you written an article on symbiosis in nature? Mertensia virginica is commonly known as Virginia bluebell, Virginia cowslip, lungwort oysterleaf or Roanoke bells. Common names are from state and federal lists. Hardy from zones 3-8, check your USDA zone here. The package that you buy at the store may well be labeled Scilla campanulata -- yet another botanical name for the plant. Growing Virginia Bluebells – What Are Virginia Bluebell Flowers. { Plants, when happy, do multiply freely via underground stems and seed. This lovely perennial reaches a height of around 2 feet. Deer will eat the foliage in Spring, but generally not completely. If you plant Virginia Bluebells in its preferred growing conditions, it will not require any special care. Plants with taproots can be very tricky to transplant. If you don’t like the looks of that, then you can clear it out of a flower bed. Family: Boraginaceae (borages) Description: So after mid-summer you won’t even know that they are there, sleeping in the soil! Many other plants are commonly known as bluebells, including the unrelated Virginia bluebell. But, established Virginia Bluebell plants can be successfully transplanted, as I have done it. If direct sowing in the fall/winter, take care to make sure it is in the proper location with it’s preferred growing conditions! So, it is best to locate a colony of these plants, and go gather seed in June when the plant is starting to go dormant. This attractive spring ephemeral wildflower is grown in gardens and may occasionally escape cultivation. This native plant is trouble free if planted in it’s preferred conditions. Sometimes there will be some branching on the stalk. Flowerbuds are pink. JOIN OUR FREE NEWSLETTER HERE. Plants are hardy to hardiness zone 3: −40 °C (−40 °F). 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