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Virginia Bluebells
Mertensia virginica

An erect, showy, colony-forming native perennial herb that grows 1-2' tall and is a spring ephemeral. This species is well suited for massed, undisturbed areas in moist, shady woodlands, wildflower or native plant gardens, woodland water gardens, decorative plantings, and shady rain gardens. It can be spread into borders or rock gardens as well.

USDA symbol: MEVI3

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height2 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Shade
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorBlue
Virginia Bluebells (Virginia Bluebells<div><em class="small">Mertensia virginica</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceGeneral Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsMay to June
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration, Shoreline Buffer, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyDodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland