How to Grow Pulmonaria
From the Latin pulmo, lung; derivation uncertain; either because the spotted leaves bore a resemblance to diseased lungs, or because one species was regarded as providing a remedy for diseased lungs (Boraginaceae). Lungwort. This is a genus of 10 species of hardy herbaceous perennials, natives of Europe. P. angustifolia, a rare native, is an excellent garden plant. The charm of these early-flowering lungworts is, in their flowers, which change from red to blue—they also have the name soldiers-andsailors on this account—and in their hairy leaves which, in some species, are spotted with a much paler green or with white. The spotted leaves suggested to some herbalists the human lung, and it was thus in accordance with the ‘doctrine of signatures’ that the plant was used to dose unfortunate sufferers from lung complaints.
Species cultivated P. angustifolia, blue cowslip, to 1 foot, leaves lacking spots, flowers pink, changing to blue, spring, Europe including Britain; vars. alba, white; `Mawson’s Variety’ is a selected garden form. P. officinalis, Jerusalem cowslip, spotted dog, to 1 foot, leaves spotted white, flowers pink then violet, spring, Europe. P. rubra, 1 foot, leaves usually lacking spots, flowers brick red, Transylvania. P. saccharata, to 1 foot, leaves blotched white, flowers pink, April to July, Europe.
Cultivation Any soil is suitable and the