Virginia Bluebells

6 04 2009

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are also known as Virginia Cowslip, Lungwort Oysterleaf (which, as Dave Barry might say, would make a very good name for a rock bandladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Lungwort Oysterleaf!), Roanoke Bells and Languid Ladies (again, a very good name for a rock band!).

Blooming in spring from March to May, these herbaceous woodland wildflowers can be found in upland forests, floodplain forests, wetlands and bluffs. They will grow in sun but prefer slight to full shade, and are ideal plants for rock gardens. Each inch-long blossom consists of five petals that form a tubular shape. The buds begin with a pinkish hue that changes to a violet blue color as they age. Although they can be pollinated by bumblebees, butterflies are the most common pollinators.

I’ve read that Bluebells bloom in profusion at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas about this time of the year, so guess where I’m heading soon! If you’re in this area, there’s an annual Bull Run Bluebell Walk at 2:00 p.m. this Sunday, April 12. I want to avoid the crowd, so I’ll try to break away a bit from design work later this week.

Read Joel Achenbach’s recent homage to Bluebells in a Washington Post article published last month here. I especially liked: You can buy a bluebell at a garden center, but that’s like seeing a fox in the zoo. Nothing makes me weep like the sight of a wildflower in captivity.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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5 responses

7 04 2009
hankinslawrenceimages

Last spring I found a nice patch of VA bluebells at Great Falls near the first overlook on the Virginia side. I’m hoping to get out to Bull Run at the end of the week to see if I can find them there.

7 04 2009
kcjewel

this makes me excited for mine to bloom. i grew up with a 30 acre bluebell patch just down the road. your blog and your photos are absolutely beautiful!!

7 04 2009
montucky

Those are so pretty! We have bluebells in this area too, but not that variety and ours will bloom around mid April.

7 04 2009
Catharus

Is that “herbaceous” or erbacious? 🙂

Very nice shot!

9 04 2009
Sarah

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Sarah

http://adoptpet.info

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