Virginia Bluebells – Mertensia virginica

Virginia Bluebells are often found in the moist areas of nature…rich, wooded bottomlands, along streams, and wooded valleys. They are spring ephemeral plants (blooming for a short time and then going dormant) they need to be planted with other plants that will then grow in to fill their space in the shade garden.

I first saw these pretty pink and blue bells at Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania. They had been planted under the shade of old, large trees.

The Bluebell was used by Native Americans to treat consumption, whooping cough, and as a general tonic when made into a strong tea. There is no indication of it being used as food.

It is pollinated, and lovingly visited by hummingbirds, bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths, including hummingbird moths. They are also visited by honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorid bees, Mason bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, and Miner bees which are seeking nectar, and thereby pollinate the flowers!


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