Virginia Bluebells

Botanical Name: Mertensia virginica

Brief Description and Notes: This beautiful and native pollinator plant blooms in the warmer times of spring before going dormant in summer. Easily identified by large and smooth leaves and the nodding trumpet-shaped flowers. The buds begin pink and turn blue when they open. If in good conditions, can spread itself easily. 

Where To Look For It: Rich and moist partly-shaded areas; woodlands, floodplains, thickets

Ornamental Value: Late spring color, naturalize

Ecological Value & Roles: Pollinated by various bees, butterflies, and birds, including hummingbirds; it is rare in areas where the wet habitat has been endangered

Edibility and Other Human Use: Since this plant is in the Borage family, it might make sense that the leaves and flowers are edible and can be used to garnish salads with some succulent texture.

 

Sources

University of Wisconsin Master Gardener Program

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Native Plants for a Cape Cod Garden: Mertensia virginica