Perennial. Virginia Bluebells is a perennial native to eastern North America from the mid-Atlantic through the Midwest. It is a spring ephemeral, dying back to the ground after flowering. Virginia Bluebells is a beloved garden plant, thriving in shade gardens and producing beautiful baby blue flowers that usually start out pink (occasional plants will produce pink or white flowers instead of blue). There is truly nothing else like it. It's a little-known fact that this gorgeous ornamental plant is also medicinal and edible! One of its vernacular names points to both its purported medicinal use and the flavor of the tasty leaves: "lungwort oysterleaf." It's hardy to Zone 3, meaning it can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees! Butterflies are the most common pollinators, feasting on its sweet nectar. Grown from seed, expect the first-year plants to be rather small, but over time they will grow and spread. Our seed was collected by our great friend C. Dale Hendricks in southeastern Pennsylvania.
GROWING TIPS: Prepare a nice bed in rich soil (some compost, manure, peat moss wouldn't hurt), because you won't be tilling the bed ever again. If the plants are happy there, they will always be there. Can handle partial sun. The plant often grows at woodland edges or in clearings, but it is considered an excellent shade plant in general. Grows well from seed, but does develop slowly. Might not flower for a couple years. Best to scatter seed on the surface and gently rake it in. Important to keep the soil moist.