This week we are taking a look at Pulmonaria officinalis. This evergreen perennial is a great addition to a wildlife garden as bees will adore it. But if you are interested in herbalism, then this is a great medicinal plant to grow close to home. I find it quite attractive with its unusual hairy, speckled leaves and tubular flowers. It can be a very useful as a filler plant in a border as it is fast growing and one plant can usually cover 1 foot cubed in space.
The common name for this plant is actually a clue to it’s medicinal uses. The leaves and flowering shoots are most often used internally for the treatment of afflictions of the chest, such as chronic bronchitis, whooping cough and it can even ease asthma. However, the leaves can also be used externally to stop bleeding.
Wildlife & Eco Gardens can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
P.officinalis isn’t too fussy when it comes to cultivation. It will grow in chalk, loam and clay soils which are moist, but well-drained. Naturally Pulmonaria would grow in woodland, moist grasslands and at the edges of hedgerows, so full or partial shade is best. Pulmonaria really benefits from fertile soil so it is a great idea to ensure there is plenty of nutrients in the soil before planting. You can also keep the plant happy by applying an organic mulch which will add nutrients to the soil over time.
Pulmonaria isn’t very demanding when it comes to care. Removing old leaves after flowering and keeping an eye out for evidence of powdery mildews during dry weather will keep this lovely little plant going.