Mertensia virginica (Common name: Virginia Bluebells)
Another spring ephemeral that makes an appearance early in the season, wows us with its spectacular color, and disappears completely when the weather turns hot.
Bluebells thrive in deciduous shade and average-to-moist soil. They grow 1-2 ft. tall and will self-sow to create a lovely colony of nodding blue flowers that are (woo hoo!) deer resistant.
I planted a few of these under some trees in our backyard, interspersed with some ferns that give cover when the bluebells go dormant. After the first few weeks of watering them in, I haven’t touched them, and each year, a few more plants make an appearance.
Our cold, rainy spring has delayed their emergence this year, but I took these two photos this morning:
Mertensia foliage just peeking through leaves in foreground
Flower spike and buds starting to emerge on this plant