Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip) 

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Spring has finally sprung when the pink buds of Mertensia virginica show themselves in late winter and early spring, evolving from being coiled up like a scorpion’s tail to opening to deep pink or blue nodding flowers in drifts of woodland* carpets. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Virginia Bluebells as Wildflower of the Year in 1989.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native in DC. In DE, it is uncommon in the Piedmont and rare in the Coastal Plain. In PA , it is mostly concentrated in pockets except in the north central counties where it is absent. In VA, it is locally common through the lower elevations of the mountains and in the Piedmont.

Print Version (Legal Size): Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells, Virginia Cowslip) 

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

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