The small sky-blue flowers of Brunnera are one of the most endearing sights in the spring garden. They look like the flowers of forget-me-nots with their yellow eyes and are borne in delicate airy sprays beginning in mid spring and continuing for several weeks. As the flowers fade large, hairy, heart-shaped basal leaves up to 6″ wide appear and can make an attractive, coarse, groundcover if they like the site. Brunnera is happiest in a moist shady environment such as found along a stream bank and will grow and multiply in such a home without need for dividing or other maintenance. Also known as false forget-me-not or heartleaf, Brunnera macrophylla is native to the Caucasus and is a member of the borage family, Boraginaceae that also includes forget-me-not, comfrey, and lungwort. The genus name, Brunnera, honors Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner (1790-1844). the specific epithet, macrophylla, is from the Greek words μακρός (macros) meaning long and φύλλα (fylla) meaning, leaves.
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Bloom: Small sky-blue flowers with yellow centers are borne in loose racemes in spring to early summer.
Foliage: Basal foliage is lettuce green darkening as the summer progresses.
Size: 1-1.5’ H x 1.5-2’ W.
Light: Part shade; can tolerate some sun in the North if kept constantly moist.
Soil: Fertile, moist, gravelly.
Hardiness: Zones 3-8.
Care: Low maintenance.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance.
Propagation: Reseeds; root cuttings, division in spring or early fall.
Companion plants: Bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.), Tiarella, pigsqueak (Bergenia cordifolia),
‘Jack Frost’ (leaves with frosted -look)
‘Hadspen Cream’ (leaves with creamy-white borders)
‘Langtrees’ (dark green leaves with silver-white spots on borders)
‘Variegata’ (large clear white borders)
Photo Credits: Wikipedia