Mertensia virginica - Virginia Bluebell

Virginia Bluebell

Common Name: Virginia Bluebell, Virginia Cowslip, Mountain Cowslip, Roanoke Bells

Scientific Name: Mertensia virginica (M. pulmonarioides)

On April 16, 1766, in one of the earliest observations in his Garden Book, Thomas Jefferson noted "a bluish colored, funnel-formed flower in lowgrounds in bloom."[1] Long before Jefferson's observation, the flower had been introduced to Britain. According to Philip Miller's 1754 edition of Gardener's Dictionary, seeds had come from a Reverend John Banister in the 1600s, but the plants had died out.[2] In the 1730s, Williamsburg's John Custis sent roots to his patron, Peter Collinson.

The Virginia Bluebell is a hardy, North American, early spring-flowering perennial with delicate, terminal clusters of light pink buds, which open to flared, long-tubular, sky-blue to purple flowers.

- Center for Historic Plants

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