Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Flower Blogging

This is Pulmonaria "Roy Davidson". Pulmonaria are also called "lungwort" - bet you could guess it was something like that from the botanical name, right? They have leaves that are spotted with silver. It's said that they were called lungwort because the spots reminded early herbalists of the diseased spots on lungs, so they thought the plant would be good at healing lung sicknesses.

Pulmonaria have wonderful blue flowers that age to pinkish. "Roy Davidson" which is named after a noted horticulturist and author in Bellevue, Washington is a hybrid between p. longiflora and p. saccharata. In my experience, its flowers don't fade to that pinkish color so quickly, and keep their brilliant color longer.

It's blooming now under the coastal live oaks in my Southern California garden, which is at the extreme south of its range. I grew this in the Pacific Northwest, and am a little surprised it's so happy here, where our summers are so hot and dry.

The plants are right next to the flagstone path to my front door, and when they open their incredible celestial blue blossoms, your eyes are drawn to them. When its blooming season is over, the silvery splotches on the leaves fade and it's just a boring little plant again - until next spring when that BLUE grabs your eye.

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