Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Regular price $9.45
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Pint-sized plant

Exposure: Partial Sun-Shade
Moisture: Medium wet-wet
Height: 2 feet
Bloom: April-May

Description: One of the most beautiful species of spring ephemerals, Virginia bluebells enjoy rich, well-drained soils where they can form large colonies over time. Growing fast, the flower shoots quickly give way to some of the most beautiful flowers east of the Mississippi. The flowers start off pink and gradually turn over to their famous shade of light blue as they mature. Bees, especially female bumblebees that fly in early spring, will often be seen visiting the flowers. Only the largest bees have the ability to push their way up the tube. The real champions of bluebell pollination are butterflies and moths. It is stunning to watch them perch delicately on the rim of the flower. The blooms will last for many weeks in early spring (April and May) and will go completely dormant by mid-summer. Virginia Bluebells prefer soils typical of a woodland - rich and a little on the wet side.

Attracts insects and birds: The flowers are cross-pollinated by long-tongued bees primarily, including honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorid bees (Anthophora spp., Synhalonia spp.),and mason bees (Osmia spp.); these insects obtain nectar and/or collect pollen. Other visitors of the flowers include the Giant Bee Fly (Bombyliusmajor), butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths, including a hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe). This group of visitors suck nectar from the flowers. Halictid bees and Syrphid flies sometimes visit the flowers, but they are too small in size to be effective pollinators. In some areas, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird has been observed to visit the flowers. When this plant forms large colonies, it provides protective cover for many kinds of wildlife during the spring.