Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla) or Siberian Bugloss is also known as the False Forget-Me-Not due to its dainty blue flower sprays in springtime. The flowers are pretty, but the real reason you want this plant in your garden is that it is a perennial workhorse with many positive attributes. In fact, it was named Perennial Plant of the Year in 2012.
This plant’s foliage is rough-textured and heart-shaped. The hairy texture of the leaves makes it deer- and rabbit-resistant. It is not a native plant to the Mid-Atlantic USA, but it is well-behaved and expands in a clump that can be divided and moved about every few years.
The only maintenance need is a fresh application of organic mulch in early spring and to cut back the spent flowers, unless you want the plant to seed about a bit.
Brunnera needs to be kept well-watered in its first year, but after
that is quite drought-tolerant--making it a good choice for dry shade
locations. It is also a great
alternative or companion to other shade-loving foliage plants like hostas,
heucheras, and caladiums.
The old-fashioned Brunnera is straight-green, while the newer cultivars have a silver sheen or white variegation to their leaves that makes this plant shine in deep shade. These include ‘Jack Frost’, ‘Looking Glass’, and ‘Silver Heart.’ There is even a chartreuse version named ‘Diane’s Gold’.
This versatile plant is a good groundcover as well as container plant.
Brunnera - You Can Grow That!
The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.
Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz
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~ Podcast: GardenDC