Genus: Mertensia

Mertensia

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
(Mertensia)
mer-TEN-see-ah
Boraginaceae
This is a genus of perennials from wet meadows, woodlands, and coasts in Europe, Asia, North America, and Greenland. The 50 or so species are grown mostly for their dangling tubular or bell-shaped blue flowers. Some species go dormant in summer. A carpet of Virginia bluebells ( M. virginica ) is one of the most welcome sights of spring in North American woods. Grow taller Mertensia species in a border or woodland, and the smaller ones in a rock garden.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Pendent blue flowers.
Care:  Most species need light, dappled shade in moist, well-drained, woodsy soil. Some species need soils of different fertility, exposure, or drainage.
Propagation: 

Start seeds in a cold frame in fall, or divide clumps carefully in spring as new growth begins. Be sure seedlings and transplants have some shade and moist soil.

Problems: 

Slugs and snails may eat new growth, and powdery mildew, rust, and leaf smut commonly occur.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Mertensia

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Virginia bluebells
Mertensia pulmonarioides