Growing Virginia Bluebells – What Are Virginia Bluebell Flowers. (No worries, we won’t spam you.). I hope to give you some tips and useful information! But, established Virginia Bluebell plants can be successfully transplanted, as I have done it. But older names persist, including Scilla hispanica; they were also formerly placed in the Endymion genus. The oval leaves are smooth and are green with a purplish-blue tinge. The package that you buy at the store may well be labeled Scilla campanulata -- yet another botanical name for the plant. 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. Mertensia virginica is one of about 40 species in this genus of herbaceous perennials with blue, bell-shaped flowers. And East to the Atlantic Ocean covering all areas in between. Flower buds are pink and turn lavender-blue as they age. If you don’t get the whole tap-root, or enough of it, the plant will often die. 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 common name comes from the shape of the flowers, as they look like little blue bells. But, Virginia Bluebells will also be visited by Spring butterflies and moths. They often form colonies via self-seeding. Bede from Minnesota on May 07, 2018: Thanks Linda for another interesting article. Though Virginia Bluebells do grow profusely in some areas of Virginia it is actually a common plant of the Midwest, not the East. Botanists now want us to call Spanish bluebells Hyacinthoides hispanica. The flower can be pollinated by bumblebees but, due to its funnel shape bumblebees must hover, making the bumblebee a rare pollinator[citation needed]. So, they can form dense colonies over time. This helps support our website.). Email address: 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. Native from Arkansas/Kansas, then North to Ontario Canada. Bluebells enjoy rich, well-drained soils where they can form large colonies over time. Plants, when happy, do multiply freely via underground stems and seed. Sometimes there will be some branching on the stalk. But there is … Virginia Bluebells will spread by seed. NPS Photo. In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. A colony of bluebells is truly an amazing sight to behold! Mertensia virginica, commonly called Virginia bluebells, is a native Missouri wildflower that occurs statewide in moist, rich woods and river floodplains. This native plant is trouble free if planted in it’s preferred conditions. Flowers are usually blue, but white or pink flowers occur rarely. Mertensia virginica is commonly known as Virginia bluebell, Virginia cowslip, lungwort oysterleaf or Roanoke bells. Virginia Bluebell seed should be planted just below the surface of the soil. Virginia Bluebell Facts. I waited until plants went dormant, and all of the leaves turned yellow and were laying on the ground. Roth's name is a superfluous synonym and has been used in recent literature.[5]. How to Grow Virginia Bluebells. Flowerbuds are pink. This herbaceous perennial wildflower happily seeds itself in the garden, quickly forming large drifts. With a total stalk height of 2 feet, Virginia bluebells will usually begin turning blue shortly after they have finished blooming. It spreads, but not too quickly. So after mid-summer you won’t even know that they are there, sleeping in the soil! Flowering will generally last for several weeks. "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. forms: { It’s fairly easy to establish large plantings. Flowers of Virginia Bluebells are very beautiful. Buds are small and pink. Seed should be kept moist until spring, when the warm temperatures will germinate them. ex Link – Virginia bluebells Subordinate Taxa. The blooms will last for many weeks in early spring (April and May) and will go dormant by mid-summer. However, Virginia Bluebells will self seed. So it was not actively growing. In a 2015 Spring poll by botanical charity Plantlife, bluebells … No diseases seem to effect this plant. It is a native plant, so has evolved to thrive without special treatment or extra fertilizer. } })(); Virginia Bluebells will have alternate leaves along the stalk that are 4-7″ long (10-18 cm) by ~3″ wide (9 cm). Formerly strictly a wildflower, today it flourishes in Zones 3 through 9 as a popular garden addition. One of them even bloomed. This is one of our Top 3 Early Spring Perennials you should grow. A sure sign of spring’s impending arrival is the masses of bright blue flowers of Virginia bluebells borne above its fresh green foliage. This attractive spring ephemeral wildflower is grown in gardens and may occasionally escape cultivation. Welcome to Growit Buildit! Bluebell, genus of 11 species of bulbous perennial plants native to Eurasia. You know, the black plastic trays that plants come in? These lovely plants are in the family Boraginaceae, which makes them relatives of other familiar species like Forget-me-not, Lungwort, and Comfrey. Leaves are green and oval-shaped, growing up to four inches in length. If you don’t like the looks of that, then you can clear it out of a flower bed. I hope to share some of my knowledge with you! Flowers have five petals fused into a tube, five stamens, and a central pistil (carpel). Clusters of small, trumpet-shaped flowers nodding from a single sturdy stem look stunning in any garden location. Native to North America, this perennial plant is one of the prettiest wildflowers. (We may earn a small commission when you purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Virginia bluebells self-seed. JOIN OUR FREE NEWSLETTER HERE. Virginia Bluebells are a native North American wildflower that can be found growing in wet, precious woods, reaching heights of 18-24 inches tall. 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. You most often find large colonies of this plant in open woodland with dappled sunlight. Loads of two-toned bell-shaped flowers hang down from the stems in large clusters. 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. White forms of the flower are highly prized because the… The blooms are shaped like bells (hence the common name). Virginia bluebells grow from 1 to 2 feet tall. One of our most stunning early spring wildflowers, bluebells is also a popular native plant for gardening. It is best to plant these perennials in Fall or late Winter before they begin to bloom for the Early-Spring season. 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. They are deer-resistant: a major plus for suburban and rural gardeners. The shape of the leaves will be oblong, and very smooth to touch. In early summer, each fertilized flower produces four seeds within wrinkled nuts, and the plant goes dormant till the next spring. Their native habitat is moist woodland … But that is about all the maintenance this plant requires. Both the English bluebell and the Spanish bluebell are cultivated as ornamentals for their attractive clusters of blue bell-shaped flowers. I wrapped the taproot in a sopping-wet paper towel, and then transplanted it to it’s new location within an hour or so. As the flower ages its coloring deepens. Blooming starts in early to mid spring with the formation of pink buds that later mature into lavender-blue flowers. event : evt, One of the most beautiful species of spring ephemerals are Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica). Have you written an article on symbiosis in nature? By Julie Christensen. It seemed to do well. bluebells_3-26-12.jpg. If direct sowing in the fall/winter, take care to make sure it is in the proper location with it’s preferred growing conditions! Description of Virginia bluebells: Virginia bluebells grow 2 feet tall and form dense colonies in wooded areas in early spring. Virginia bluebells grow 18" … Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica . Like the flowers, the jellyfish are also quite colorful! It is is a species of flowering plant in the Boraginaceae family, and it is native to moist woodlands in (eastern) North America.. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) produce blue-colored flowers in the shape of bells. However, if you are attempting to cultivate Virginia Bluebells in a manicured flower bed, be aware that they self-seed quite heavily. It has beautiful flowers with pastel pink buds that open into true blue that attract bees and butterflies. They are petiolate at the bottom of the flower stem and sessile at the top. Virginia Bluebells will go dormant in the summer. It requires about a 2 month cold/moist stratification period. Family: Boraginaceae (borages) Description: Many internet sources and people over-complicate the art of making compost. *This species may be difficult and/or … The name Bluebell is derived from the shape of the flowers which emerge in clusters as pink buds on the stem. Like most spring ephemerals, Virginia bluebells emerge early in the season before significant leaf cover, bloom, and go dormant by mid-June. } Native to North America, bluebells are charming woodland plants that thrive in partial to full shade. Unwanted seedlings can be pulled quite easily though. The scientific names of plants are supposed to make our lives easier as gardeners, giving precision where there would otherwise be cha… When immature, the flower petals are pink, changing to a rich purple-blue as the bloom opens up. The following Spring, the two plants I transplanted came right up. Virginia bluebells have rounded and gray-green leaves, borne on stems up to 24 in (60 cm) tall. 2004. Flowers are about an inch long, blue and trumpet-shaped, formed from five attached petals. Also, be aware that this plant grows slowly from seed, like Blue False Indigo. The decades of leaf-litter decay provide substantial organic matter, which creates a loamy soil that is perfect for this plant. The Scientific Name of Virginia Bluebells is Mertensia virginica. Get our new content sent to your inbox. He with a love & extensive self-taught knowledge of NATIVE PLANTS, GARDENING, and woodworking. Mertensia virginica (common names Virginia bluebells,[1] Virginia cowslip, lungwort oysterleaf, Roanoke bells) is a spring ephemeral plant with bell-shaped sky-blue flowers, native to eastern North America. 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. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over six years. Deer will eat the foliage in Spring, but generally not completely. According to the ASPCA, Virginia Bluebells are non-toxic to cats, dogs and horses. the range. The bud opens to reveal a clear blue, trumpet shaped flower. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( Primary Facts. ); I amended the soil with compost as I transplanted it. 18-24" tall x 18-24" wide, this beautiful member of the Borage family is a wild gardeners dream. There will be clusters of blooms (~20 blooms) from the top of the stalk that kind of hang down, similar to a street lamp. The Cherokee used the plant to treat whooping cough and tuberculosis. [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. This pretty wildflower is, unfortunately, endangered throughout much of its native range due to habitat loss. The stamens and stigma are spaced too far apart for self-fertilization. Bluebells were voted England’s favorite. Some Fun Facts About Virginia Bluebells Virginia bluebells were given their botanical name, Mertensia virginica, in honor of German botanist Franz Carl Mertens. Composting 102 - Building a Basic Compost Pile. Just remember, they will go dormant. 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. When the flower is ready for pollination, it increases the alkalinity of the flower, changing the color to blue. Bluebells' soft, herbaceous foliage is a great texture complement to the rigid and straplike foliage of many bulbs. Virginia Bluebells would only be considered invasive outside of their native range, which is generally anything West of the Missouri River. I learned new things, such as the differences between monocot and dicot, and the benefits of the fungus for the plant. Then, I dug up the plant, getting as much of the tap-root as I could. 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. The flower buds of Virginia bluebells are pink due to a chemical called anthocyanin. 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. Bluebells (Virginia Cowslip) Mertensia virginica . (function() { Virginia Bluebells is a herbaceous perennial wildflower native to North America. on: function(evt, cb) { Transplanting while in … Her with a love of HOME DECOR DIY. Hardy from zones 3-8, check your USDA zone, Native from Arkansas/Kansas, then North to Ontario Canada. } In cultivation, M. virginica has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. So, if you don’t want extra plants, you will have to pull unwanted seedlings. 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. We are a husband and wife duo. More Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. If you plant Virginia Bluebells in its preferred growing conditions, it will not require any special care. Our Virginia Bluebells are blooming now and the color is incredible. The combination of pink and blue flower clusters on a deep green plant make this … As I have stated before, bluebells are mostly found in Mediterranean basin. Bluebells are also called ‘fairy flowers.’ According to an old myth fairies used bluebells to lure and … [4] The genus Pulmonaria is today restricted to 19 species in the tribe Boragineae. A rather low-growing woodland wildflower, Virginia Blue Bells will rarely be more than 2′ tall (60 cm). Virginia Bluebells prefer soils typical of a woodland - a little on the wet side. A native wildflower, Virginia Bluebells bloom in mid-spring and look best when planted en masse in shaded areas or woodland gardens. 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