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Thursday, 3 April 2014

The delighful if misnamed Lungwort (Pulmonaira)

Sometimes delightful gems get overlooked or remain unseen simply because they are either too small, tucked away somewhere out of sight even if sometimes "out of sight" is in plain sight just not in a place where one would normally look or expect to see a plant.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria obscura) by Woodland Road in Bristol

I only discovered this little patch of plants which I had never seen before, because I'd been taking photos of the Daffodils on Woodland Road opposite the Biological Sciences Building after which I was going to the Fort Royal Gardens to see if there had been any developments in the flora and fauna.
Then as I walked along the high brick retaining wall a flash of colour caught the corner of my eye and I stopped, craned my neck and saw that there were these delicate looking pink, blue and lavender flowers sitting right up on the top under some shrubs.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) by Woodland Road in Bristol

The wall was too high for me to get up on and I did not gain more attention from the security guard who was watching me as he smoked a cigarette, so I stood on my tip toes and held the camera up hoping to get a decent shot. Somehow I sort of managed to get these without the security guard crossing the road to investigate my bizarre activity.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) by Woodland Road in Bristol

I do not think the security officer could see the flowers from where he was. So as far as he was concerned I was taking photos of random weeds and dirt. Maybe its silly but, I always feel self concious taking photographs of plants and flowers in the street. In gardens it is not so bad because there are sometimes other people doing the same thing, although I have yet to see anyone get up close and personal with the flowers to take macros or desperately try and focus and snap the bees before they buzz off to another flowers.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) by Woodland Road in Bristol

Additional Information:
Binomial Name: Pulmonaria officinalis and Pulmonaria obscura
Common names: Lungwort, Soldiers and Sailors, Spotted Dog, Mary and Joseph, Adam and Eve, Jerusalem cowslip, Bethlehem Sage (English); Longkrud (Dutch); Pulmonaria (French); Lungenkräuter (German); Pulmonaria (Italian); Pulmonaria (Portuguese); Pulmonaria (Spanish); 

Taxonomy:Kingdom: Plantae –  Angiosperms - Eudicots –  Asterids –  Order: ? – Family: Boraginaceae –  Subfamily: Boraginioideae – Genus: Pulmonaria – Species: P. officinamis, longifolia

Etymology: Pulmonaria is from the Latin pulmo (lung). In accordance with beliefs in sympathetic magic the spotted leaves were considered to resemble and symbolize diseased lungs and were used in the treatment of pulmonary infections

Royal Horticultural Society entry for LINK
Wikipedia entry for Pulmnonaria LINK
Wikipedia entry for Pulmnonaria officinalis LINK
C. R. Birkinshaw and M. N. Sanford, “Pulmonaria obscura Dumort. (Boraginaceae) in Suffolk” in Watsonia Journal of the Botanical Society of the British Isles Volume 21, 1996, p169-178.
Mary Keen “How to Grow: pulmonaria”, The  Telegraph,

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