Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’
A flurry of silver snowflakes, large and small, decorate every broad leaf of Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’.
A flurry of silver snowflakes & months of pink
Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’ makes a gorgeous foliage clump, topped by clusters of deep magenta pink funnels that look up at you from late winter right through spring.
‘Victorian Brooch’ is particularly noted for an exceptionally long blooming season, and compact growth habit.
Outstanding shade groundcover
So such compact, dense growth and long blooming make ‘Victorian Brooch’ an outstanding groundcover for shaded gardens. Or along the edge of a shaded path where it is so very decorative and so polite.
It spreads gently by making a dense carpet of rhizomes, but is in no way invasive.
The compact growth habit and profuse, long flowering also recommends it for decorative containers in the shade.
A gem for deep shade
‘Victorian Brooch’ is a pearl amongst Pulmonarias – because it not just tolerates but thrives in deep shade.
As well as growing happily in woodland conditions under both deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, dappled shade, or morning sun.
‘Victorian Brooch’ is one of the most adaptable of all Pulmonarias, however it does dislike hot afternoon sun.
It is also one of the most tolerant of humidity, and resistant to mildew.
And like all the Pulmonarias, extremely frost hardy.
Growing: Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’
– Height with flowers: 30cm. approx.
– Width: Neat, round dense clump of foliage to a diameter of approx. 60cm.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial clump that is In no way invasive.
Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’ makes a beautiful groundcover in the shade, an edge for a shady path, or a striking container plant.
‘Victorian Brooch’ is noted for dense, compact growth habit.
Where to grow
– Position: Plant Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’ in Full Shade to Part Shade, Morning Sun or Dappled Shade under trees and shrubs.
It also noted for growing particularly well in Deep Shade.
How to grow
– Soil: Pulmonarias are quite partial to lime, so they relish soil with a pH in the neutral to alkaline range. They like well-drained soil, as long as it has enough organic matter in it to retain moisture long enough for the roots to take it up.
They are after all natural born woodland plants, so they really thank you for leaf litter, compost, and any organic matter you can provide.
– Water: Water-wise in shade gardens.
Nor are Pulmonarias hungry plants, so they require little to no extra fertilizing.
– Frost: Extremely frost hardy and ignores even very hard frosts to well below -10C.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Because of their exceptionally early flowering season in winter, Pulmonarias are a wonderful source of nectar at a critical time for bees, butterflies and other beneficial pollinators.
– Care: Pulmonarias are hardy, easy, low maintenance plants. The only annual work is to tidy up the clump after flowering, by cutting spent flowers stems and the foliage down to the socks. This encourages fresh, new decorative leaves.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Bliss!! Both rabbits and deer dislike the taste of Pulmonaria.
Pulmonaria is native to Europe and western Asia, and occurs widely. It grows happily from the summer heat of central Italy and Croatia, to the winter chills of Sweden and Denmark. So Pulmonaria is clearly a very hardy and adaptable family of plants.
Pulmonaria is a woodland plant in both deciduous and evergreen forest and woodlands, and has a particular liking for limestone country. It also favours areas with heavier clay based soils, as long as they are not waterlogged, making it very handy for gardeners dealing with clay.
A busy plant in history
“Pulmonaria” or “Lungwort” are rather unattractive names for such a pretty plant. But fortunately across the centuries, it has also acquired some more romantic common names .
Some of the most popular are “Mary’s Tears”, “Our Lady’s Milk Drops”, “Jerusalem Cowslip”, “Soldiers and Sailors”, and “Spotted Dog” (many do slightly remind of a green Dalmation dog I suppose, with all those silver spots).
“Lungwort” – a sign from heaven
The “Doctrine of Signatures” was a powerful belief amongst medieval healers and the faithful.
It explained that God had conveniently signed which plants we should use to treat which diseases. So the silver spotted leaves of Pulmonaria was a clear indication from heaven that this plant should be used to treat lung diseases such as Tuberculosis, which also produced similar spots on the lungs.
Hence the family name of “Pulmonaria”, which comes from the Latin word for lung, “Pulmo”.