Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Plant Profile: Brunnera

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



  1. I love the white/silver leaves on the brunnera at the beginning of the video. That really would stand out in the shade!

    1. It does! I have mine under a huge Oak tree and it definitely steals the show from the nearby variegated hostas :-).

  2. Such a versatile plant in the landscape! I just got my first plant for my own garden after planting a couple types in different gardens. The flowers are so dainty and pretty :)


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