Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pretty pictures: Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash'

Well, I have a favorite perennial now. I bought two of these last spring, and they were among the lucky purchases which got planted somewhere (along the north side of the garage, in this particular case). I wasn't feeling especially optimistic about them coming back, but they have, and one of the two is now in full bloom, while the other is heavily budded but not actually flowering yet (as I write, last Wednesday).

I bought them without having seen the flowers, so this display is . . . well, I can't say completely unexpected, because I knew they were going to do something, but I didn't expect anything quite this dramatic.

The only thing I don't like about them so much is that handling them at all makes my hands really itchy. I suppose this is why they make gardening gloves.


Ginny Burton said...

Wow! Very pretty, indeed. Do the flowers bloom in different colors, or do the blossoms turn darker purple as they age?

Andrew said...

Very nice. I think 'Raspberry Splash' is my favourite Pulmonaria.

I've never grown them but working with them at work I can imagine those hairs can get pretty irritating after a short time.

Anonymous said...

Those are really terrific. I have only the blues and will be rushing off to my nearest (110 miles) garden center to check out that one. At this time of year the garden can use a splash like that.

mr_subjunctive said...

Ginny Burton:

The flowers are pink/red when they first open up, and then get more blue as they age, first turning kind of purple with pink veins, then blue.


Probably. I only messed with them once after planting, and that was to try to remove some of the dead leaves from last year. Which I did not like, and apparently didn't need to be done anyway because they came back up through the dead foliage just fine. So I'll be trying to do as little with them as possible, now.


And also they seem to have a really long bloom period; I don't remember when the first flowers appeared, but I noticed buds in early April, and it seems like the actual flowers started appearing not too long after that. Plus one of my two plants is only now getting started.

Don said...

Did you notice whether the foliage got any powdery mildew later in the season last year? That's something Pulmonaria are prone to, and I'm always looking for mildew-resistant cultivars.

If they do get powdery mildew, that might be a reason to remove last season's dead foliage in early spring, to try to reduce the overwintering spores.

Are your plants growing in full sun, or do they have some shade?

mr_subjunctive said...


I didn't notice any mildew last year, and it was a cool, wet year here besides, so 'Raspberry Splash' may well be more resistant than most Pulmonarias.

Or possibly I was just not being that observant. But my older pictures of the plant don't show any either.

These plants have almost total shade: they're on the north side of the garage, and the house blocks most of the sun from the east. They might get a little bit of western sun in the late afternoon.

Diane said...

I bought two pulmonarias on a whim and the 'Trevi Fountain' is now one of my favorites in the garden. The name of the other got lost; it's a nice plant but not as pretty as the Trevi. I've never had mildew problems with either and they both grow in almost full shade. Love them!

Laura said...

Their colour is so dramatic, in its waves of raspberry shades. I can see why it's your favorite!

Dennis said...

Nice photos. There are certainly a lot of cool Pulmonaria cultivars around. I found a short article from Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC that talks about the group. (