Lungwort (pulmonaria officinalis), a perennial herb of the borage family, a native of Europe, and frequently found in old gardens. The creeping root stock throws up a large tuft of ovate-oblong leaves, which are coarsely hairy, with their dark green upper surface marked with numerous whitish spots; the flowers, which appear in spring, are in terminal clusters, on stems 6 to 12 in. high, rose-colored, changing to blue; there are several garden forms, varying in the size and marking of their foliage and the color of their flowers.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis).
The name would indicate that the plant had at one time a medicinal reputation; the spotted leaves were supposed by the old herbalists to resemble diseased lungs, and thus indicate its value in pulmonary diseases; it is, like some others of the family, simply mucilaginous. - Smooth lungwort (Mertensia Virginica), formerly classed as a pulmonaria, is indigenous in New York and southward; it has something of the habit of the foregoing, but its leaves are smooth and spotless; its flowers are of an indescribably beautiful blue, and the plant is worthy of a place in the finest garden.