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Virginia Bluebell : Woodland Spring Beauty

25 Mar 2021 1:00 AM | Brenda Peshak

Virginia Bluebell | Demonstration Garden

Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) is an herbaceous perennial that forms stalks of blue flowers from March to April.  It grows in moderate moisture and shade, and grows well in woodland gardens.

Facts about Virginia Bluebell:

Scientific Name : Mertensia virginica
Variety, cultivar, or trademark name  Virginia Bluebells
Bloom time?  Color?  blue flowers, March to April
Type or Average Life Span:  herbaceous perennial
Height:  18″
Width/Spread:  1 to 1.5 feet

Good things to know about Virginia Bluebell :

Virginia Bluebells are native to North America, growing in U.S. Zones 3 to 8. It prefers moist woodlands, forming a clump growing 1 to 2 feet tall, with stalks of blue, trumpet-shaped flowers with foliage dying back to the ground by mid-summer.

You know it’s spring when the oval leaves of Virginia Bluebells begin to emerge (March to April, depending on the year). Shortly after, baby-pink flower buds appear then open into nodding, trumpet-shaped flowers of medium blue or lavender-blue.


Native to most of the eastern U.S., Mertensia grows to 18” tall, prefers rich, moist soil in partial shade, and is reliably perennial. If seeds are allowed to fall, the plant spreads into sizable clumps that offer a colorful sight after the dreary winter months. Mertensia is very easy to grow, has no serious insect or disease problems; it resists deer and rabbits, and it tolerates black walnut. Hardy in zones 3-8

Since the plant goes dormant around midsummer and leaves begin to die back, Virginia Bluebells will need to be intermixed with ferns, hostas, or other plants that prefer similar conditions.

If you’re a fan of native plants, love pink and blue, and have a semi-shaded, moist area, Virginia Bluebells should be on your list. When winter snows are gone, delicately swaying Virginia Bluebells are a charming addition to the springtime garden.  They thrive in the moist partial shade of a woodland garden, and are hardy during cool spring nights.

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