Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’

Pulmonarias are given to self-seeding, regularly producing inferior or indifferent forms, but our gardens are occasionally blessed with something worth keeping and growing. Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’ is one of those good seedlings and arose in the garden of June Blake at Tinode, Kilbride, Co Wicklow. Following commercial propagation, it is widely available in the trade and is now grown in many Irish gardens.

The broad, lush silver foliage is the notable feature of this low-growing herbaceous perennial plant giving it an ornamental presence in the garden whether in flower or not. The flowers are those of the old and traditional lungworts, an attractive mixture of pink and blue. It spreads with ease and regular division allows one to bulk up its numbers in the garden.

Lungworts can be propagated with ease by dividing larger plants and replanting immediately. They will also self-seed in the garden but the resultant seedlings will almost certainly differ from the parent plant — so, if you wish to keep your valued plant of ‘Blake’s Silver’ true to type, it is worth removing the spent flower spikes as the flowers fade.

(As appeared in Newsletter 152, April 2021. Text and photos courtesy of Paddy Tobin)