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Lungwort

Pulmonaria officinalis

The Pulmonaria officinalis, Lungwort, is an herbaceous perennial native to Britain and Europe, and has been in cultivation since the 15th century. It was used as a pot-herb and was once thought to be good for the lungs because the spotting on the foliage gives the leaf the appearance of a human lung. (This notion was founded on the principles of the Doctrine of Signatures.) The Lungwort formerly held a place in almost every garden; and it was held in great esteem for its reputed medicinal qualities in diseases of the lungs. Sir J. E. Smith wrote that: 'every part of the plant is mucilaginous, but its reputation for coughs arose not from this circumstance, but from the speckled appearance of the leaves, resembling the lungs!' It flowers in early spring and grows well in partial shade.

It is a member of the Borage family and is related to culinary herb Comfrey.

Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
Purple
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 10
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Partial Shade
Blooming History: 
2011 Mar 15 to 2011 May 312012 Mar 9 to 2012 May 242013 Mar 22 to 2013 May 72014 Mar 28 to 2014 Apr 16
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Lungwort.

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