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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Mertensia virginica

Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip

Scientific Name:

Mertensia virginica

Genus:

Mertensia

Species Epithet:

virginica

Common Name:

Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Boraginaceae (Borage Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

1-3 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Blue

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry

Bloom Time:

March, April, May, June

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Nutrient-rich, moist, alluvial soils of floodplain forests and thickets (Weakley 2015). Rare throughout NC.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Recommended and Available

State Rank:

S2: Imperiled (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

State Status:

W7: Watch List: Poorly Known in NC (*Key)

Notes:

"Foliage dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant." Missouri Botanical Garden, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e170

Blooms

image

© Tammy Kennedy

Plant emerging in late winter

Garden in Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Mertensia virginica. You will likely hear them called Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip. This picture shows the Plant emerging in late winter of Mertensia virginica

Bettina Darveaux

Buds and flowers can range from pink to Carolina-blue and all colors in-between

Garden in Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Mertensia virginica. You will likely hear them called Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip. This picture shows the Buds and flowers can range from pink to Carolina-blue and all colors in-between of Mertensia virginica

Bettina Darveaux

This particular year, the flowers were mostly pink

Garden in Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Mertensia virginica. You will likely hear them called Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip. This picture shows the This particular year, the flowers were mostly pink of Mertensia virginica

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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