Pulmonarias or lungworts are pretty hardy perennials loved by pollinating insects producing clusters of funnel-shaped flowers held at the top of green stems above semi-evergreen leaves. Native to an array of mountain habitats, wetlands and understoreys commonly found in Europe and Asia, these woodland emblems are popularly used as ground-cover in wild gardens and shady borders. Try mixing with other perennials such as alchemillas, erythroniums, euphorbias, hellebores and primulas or interlace with irises reticulata, snowdrops and winter aconites.
Plant in moist, humus rich, fertile soil that does not get waterlogged in full or partial shade. Water in dry weather and lift and divide overcrowded clumps every few years.
Pulmonarias are supplied in 9 cm pots. Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
- Snails and slugs: these pests will happily eat away at the young shoots and stems. Watch out for damage!
- Powdery mildews: usually caused by planting in the shade or by poor air circulation, these fungal diseases can be seen in the form of white, powdery coating on the leaves. Cut off any infected leaves before disinfecting your scissors.