Brunnera is a wonderful shade plant through out the seasons. Early in spring, its clusters of striking clear blue flowers draw the eye and remind us that the time of lush abundance will soon return.

New blooms continue to appear all through April and into May, during which time the leaves grow from tiny little hearts to big and showy in their own right. Through the summer and fall, Brunnera is an attractive foliage plant with big fuzzy leaves of silver or cream (depending on variety).

Not only are Brunnera attractive, but they are also easy and durable. They prefer moist soils, and also tolerate drought. Being a member of the borage family, some varieties may reseed.

The bold heart shaped leaves lend them to combining well with many plants such as grasses and hellebores. A nearby planting of Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' (Bleeding Heart) will make for a striking combination the memory of which even summer won't dispel. A mass of silvery leafed Brunneras can brighten even the darkest of spots, and help draw people into secluded areas.

Brunneras are also compact enough to make good container plants. They can help smooth the transition from winter's subdued pots to the floriferous annuals of summer, and their silvery foliage blends well with a wide variety of colors.

Some varieties you can find at Portland Nursery include:

Brunnera 'Alexander's Great'

Brunnera macrophylla 'Alexander's Great'

This variety is a hard one to miss in the garden with it's huge silver leaves veined in green. Classic blue flowers March to May. Grows 14" tall and 18"wide in zones 4-8.

Brunnera 'Hadsen's Cream'

Brunnera macrophylla 'Hadspen Cream'

'Hadspen Cream' has the usual forget-me-not style blue flowers plus very large leaves with an irregularly shaped, creamy edge. 12-18" high x 12-18" wide, hardy in zones 3-9

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Brunnera m. 'Jack Frost'

'Jack Frost' has blue flowers in spring, and heart shaped leaves are have their vein pattern outlined in silver (very cool!). The amount of silver on the leaves increases as the season goes on. 8-15"h x 8-15"w z3-9

Brunnera 'Looking Glass'

Brunnera m. 'Looking Glass'

The silver-est of them all, 'Looking Glass' leaves are entirely glossy silver, giving the plant a bright, surreal look. Blue flowers spring. Think dusty miller for the shade.

18"h x 15"w zones 4-9.

Brunnera 'Diane's Gold'

Brunnera'Diane's Gold'

'Diane's Gold' has chartreuse leaves which help the blue flowers stand out. 12-17"h x 24"w z4-9

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot