Since I was writing about alternatives to vinca yesterday, I decided that I should highlight one of the plants I listed.
(Lungwort, Bethlehem Sage, Jerusalem Sage)
Type: Perennial (Zones 2/3-9)
Light Requirements: Part Shade to Shade
Moisture: prefer moist soil, does not do well in dry areas.
Blooms: Early/Mid spring (start to bloom in March here along side the daffodils). Blooms last for several weeks.
Leaves: Green with beautiful polka dots (other varieties have more silvery leaves)! Sprout in later winter and keeps its leaves through late fall.
Size: Height: 9-12″ Width: 12″-18″
Pros: They are very easy to take care of and provide nice foliage for most of the year.
Cons: If you don’t like to divide them, they can start to look leggy after a few years.
Division: Divide in spring or fall. If you divide in the summer (which I have done before) the leaves will tend to die back, but usually by fall they will sprout again. I received mine from divisions from my mom’s garden. I have since divided mine several times in the last 6-7 years or so.
Origin: Native to Europe and Western Asia. The name comes from the spotted oval leaves that were thought to symbolize diseased, ulcerated lungs, and so were used to treat pulmonary infections.
Varieties: There are quite a few varieties with different spot patterns and different colored flowers. I also have ‘Majeste’ which has mostly a silvery leaf and less prominent pink flowers.