I’m enjoying all the blue flowers in the garden this week. These Pulmonaria x ‘Samourai’ (Samourai lungwort) have wonderful silver foliage all season, and the pretty blue flowers in spring. This perennial thrives in the shade, with no problems. The Pulmonaria survive a cold climate very well, while the leaves persist past the first frosts, giving long seasonal interest.
The long silver gray leaves are covered in hairs, leaving a thin edge of green. Since they are a cross of ‘Majeste’, they have the silver colour, but the leaves are longer and more slender. These will elongate even more in summer. The light colour displays very well in the shade, catching the eye in the shadows. This perennial shows up well next to dark foliage. I particularly like them next to the round, shiny leaves of Asarum europaeum (European ginger).
The maroon coloured buds of the lungwort are in tight clusters. You can see how hairy they are, just like the leaves. As they first open, they are pink coloured, but they quickly turn a true blue colour.
In this closeup of the bright blue flowers, the simple five petaled blooms of the plant are noticeable. With the back lighting, the hairiness of the flower stalk, leaves and buds stands out. The smaller leaves on the flowers stalks are more green than gray, and often have the dots that are found on other types of Pulmonaria .
That early growth of foliage is a great benefit in a short growing season. The above photo shows the new leaves, which will continue extending. These are one of the plants, along with Campanula, Helleborus and Brunnera that start greening up the garden bed while other perennials are waiting for better weather. After the new leaves grew in spring, I removed the old foliage, which started to fade. The older leaves tend to be prickly at the base, so I had to use my gloves when removing them.
This group gets an hour or two of light in the evening, when the sun is low, and thrives there. I have another group on the north side of a fence which does equally well.
With their long silver leaves, these Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’ look great next to lacy ferns, or plants with rounded leaves. This grouping has some lady ferns to one side, little heart shaped Asarum in front, and some blue flowered Campanula on the other side. In the shade of a mock orange shrub, they make a nice grouping. Most of the the neighbouring plants haven’t grown as fast as the Pulmonaria yet this spring.
The flowers are a beautiful true blue, except when they’re pink. : )
Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’ is a great perennial for the shade. They are very hardy in zone 3. The lungworts are much sweeter than their unfortunate common name suggests. The silver foliage is attractive from earliest spring, until after the first frost, while their lovely blue flowers brighten the spring garden.