Plants - Vines and Groundcovers

Grow lungwort in your shade garden

Let low-maintenance lungwort breathe life into your garden's shady spaces

Growing tips

  • Lungwort will grow well in dry, shaded areas and usually bounces back quickly after a drought.
  • Though it will survive in almost any soil, lungwort does best in a fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained growing medium. (Long-leafed lungwort does well in clay.)
  • Lightly shear back plants after flowering to deadhead.
  • Lungwort is susceptible to powdery mildew if the soil dries out for extended periods. If this happens, remove damaged leaves. Conversely, the plant can rot if the soil is too wet.
  • Although rarely bothered by slugs or snails, lungwort's young, growing shoots are susceptible.

A purpose for Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria officinalis is an example of the doctrine of signatures: an ancient belief that plants are marked with a divine sign indicating their purpose.

The species' white-spotted leaves resemble a diseased lung, indicating use of the plant for pulmonary complaints. The botanical name Pulmonaria is derived from the Latin word for lungs, which also explains its English common name, lungwort.

Common lungwort is used by modern herbalists as an emollient, expectorant and astringent. Made into a tea from its dried state, it's considered useful for respiratory conditions.

Other common names for this plant include boys and girls, and lords and ladies, likely because some species have both blue and pink flowers.


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