Lungwort Pulmonaria 'Vera May'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
lungwort 'Vera May'


The Pulmonaria 'Vera May', commonly known as lungwort, is a visually striking perennial plant. This variety is particularly noted for its foliage and flowers which make it a standout in any garden. The leaves are an engaging mix of solid green and silver-spotted patterns, giving a mottled appearance that remains attractive throughout the growing season. Initially, they can emerge in shades of pink, which gradually mature to a resplendent blue and eventually may exhibit purple hues. These bell-shaped flowers bloom profusely in clusters. The contrast between the speckled leaves and the colorful blossoms provides an eye-catching display and adds an element of texture and color variation to garden beds and borders.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Lungwort, Bethlehem Sage, Jerusalem Sage, Lady's Milk Drops, Spotted Dog.

    • Common names

      Pulmonaria 'Vera May'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Pulmonaria, commonly known as lungwort, 'Vera May' is not known to be toxic to humans. Therefore, there are no specific symptoms of poisoning associated with this plant. Ingesting parts of the plant should not result in toxic consequences under normal circumstances. However, as with the consumption of any non-food plant, individual allergic reactions or sensitivities may occur, and it is generally advisable to avoid eating ornamental plants.

    • To pets

      Lungwort, specifically the 'Vera May' variety, is not listed as toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. There should be no symptoms of poisonings associated with this plant since it is not considered poisonous. Pets consuming parts of the lungwort should not experience toxic effects, but it's always wise to prevent pets from eating plants not meant for consumption as individual animals might have varying sensitivities or allergic reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 feet (30 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Pulmonaria 'Vera May' produces flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies, which helps pollinate other plants in the garden.
    • Shade Tolerance: This lungwort variety thrives in partial to full shade, making it a great choice for understory planting or shaded areas where other plants may struggle.
    • Ornamental Leaves: The plant has distinctive silver-spotted leaves that provide visual interest even when it is not in bloom, adding variety to the garden foliage.
    • Spring Bloomer: It produces colorful blooms early in the spring, providing one of the first nectar sources for pollinators after winter.
    • Groundcover: Lungwort can serve as an effective groundcover, spreading to fill in spaces and suppress weeds with its dense foliage.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Pulmonaria 'Vera May' is relatively drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering in the right conditions.
    • Low Maintenance: The plant is easy to care for, requiring little upkeep beyond the occasional watering and removal of spent leaves and flowers.
    • Long Blooming Period: Pulmonaria 'Vera May' has a lengthy blooming period compared to some other perennials, offering visual interest for an extended time in the spring.
    • Disease and Pest Resistant: It is generally resistant to many common garden pests and diseases, ensuring it remains healthy with minimal intervention.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Lungwort 'Vera May' can be used as a dye plant, with its leaves having the potential to be utilized for fabric dyeing, creating shades of yellow or green.
    • The plant can serve a role in educational gardens, specifically those focused on showcasing plants with historical uses in folk medicine and those with unique leaf patterns.
    • Lungwort 'Vera May' is valuable for its early spring blooms, offering a vital nectar source for pollinators such as bees when other food sources are limited.
    • In a sensory garden, the textured leaves of Lungwort 'Vera May' can provide a tactile experience for visitors, alongside its visual appeal.
    • This plant can play a part in theme gardens that concentrate on 'language of flowers', where Lungwort signifies health and vitality.
    • The distinctive spotted foliage of Lungwort 'Vera May' can be used in art classes or workshops, as inspiration or a subject for botanical illustration and nature study.
    • Lungwort's resilient nature can be utilized in teaching about plant adaptation and survival in shaded woodland environments, particularly in educational settings.
    • Lungwort 'Vera May' can be used in wildlife gardens to attract and support a variety of insects, thereby contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Because of its aesthetic appeal, Lungwort 'Vera May' can be used in floristry as part of dried flower arrangements after the blooms have matured and dried.
    • In photography or as part of visual projects, the unique appearance of Lungwort 'Vera May', with its spotted foliage and colorful blooms, offers an interesting subject.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lungwort is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lungwort is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope and renewal: Pulmonaria, commonly known as lungwort due to historic medicinal use for lung ailments, symbolizes new beginnings and the hope that comes with recovery.
    • Compassion: Lungwort's soft, spotted leaves can represent the nurturing and compassionate nature of an individual, often alluding to the plant’s traditional use in healing.
    • Longevity: As a perennial, lungwort symbolizes long life and perseverance, reflecting its ability to return each spring and thrive.

Every 3-7 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Lungwort 'Vera May' should be watered deeply once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. During the growing season in spring and summer, ensure that you are providing about 1 gallon of water per week, depending on the size and maturity of the plant. Reduce watering frequency in the fall and further in the winter when the plant is dormant. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so ensure good drainage. Always check the top inch of the soil for dryness before watering again.

  • sunLight

    Lungwort 'Vera May' thrives in partial shade to full shade locations. The best spot is an area that gets morning sun but is protected from the harsh afternoon sun. These light conditions mirror the plant's natural woodland habitat, preventing the leaves from scorching while providing enough light for growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lungwort 'Vera May' prefers cool to moderate temperature conditions. It can typically survive winter temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and is comfortable during the summer months up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for lungwort is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Lungwort 'Vera May' should be pruned to remove dead or yellowing leaves, which improves air circulation and the plant's overall appearance. Pruning can be done after flowering in late spring or early summer. It's not necessary to prune the plant frequently; once a year is sufficient.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Lungwort (Pulmonaria 'Vera May') should be rich, moist, and well-draining with a high organic matter content. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH, typically ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. Amend garden soil with compost and peat moss to create favorable conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Lungwort should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. If the plant outgrows its pot or the soil is exhausted, it's time to repot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lungwort thrives in environments with average to high humidity. The best humidity level for this plant is around 50% or higher but it can tolerate lower levels if the soil moisture is maintained.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Place in partial shade with moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Pulmonaria 'Vera May', commonly known as lungwort, begins its life cycle as a seed which germinates in spring in moist, well-drained soil with partial to full shade. The seed develops into a young seedling with small leaves, which gradually grow larger and form a basal rosette. As the plant matures, it develops its distinctive foliage with silver-spotted green leaves and sends up flowering stalks, usually in early to mid-spring. The flowers of lungwort can change color over time, often starting as pink and transitioning to blue as they mature, due to pH changes in the petals. After the flowering period, the plant sets seeds that are dispersed by wind or animals, and the above-ground parts die back to the ground, with the plant becoming dormant during the winter months. In the subsequent spring, lungwort returns from the rootstock to repeat its life cycle, with the plant potentially living for many years as a perennial.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Pulmonaria 'Vera May', commonly known as lungwort, is traditionally propagated through division, which is the most popular method. The best time to propagate lungwort through division is in the spring or early fall when the plant is not in active bloom. To propagate, carefully dig up the plant, ensuring a good amount of the root system is intact. Use a sharp knife or spade to divide the root clump into smaller sections, each with several growing points or shoots. Replant the divisions immediately at the same soil level they were originally growing, spacing them approximately 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 centimeters) apart to allow adequate room for growth. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method is reliable and helps to rejuvenate older plants while providing new plants for other areas of the garden or to share with fellow gardeners.