Barry at Sunshine Farms inspired my choice of natives plants for Maryland. Though called Virginia Bluebells, they are actually native to much of the eastern US seaboard. So since I have already covered VA, I will go with the next best thing Maryland.
It’s close and when I lived in VA, I remember walking through wooded areas on both sides of the line that had beautiful bluebells.
Mertensia virginica is one of our earliest and easiest to grow Spring ephemeral wildflowers. Eventually we must part company with this lovely plant but not until it sets a respectable enough quantity of seeds to assure that you will soon have a colony. It will then fade away and fall back into a deep slumber until next Spring. I highly recommend Polystichum acrostichoides as a companion plant. Universally known as the “Christmas Fern”, this versatile evergreen fern benefits from a haircut in early Spring, just before the emergence of the Mertensia. As the Mertensia is “bidding adieu”, the Polystichum acrostichoides will be unfurling its new fronds and will quickly cover any bare spots left behind by the Mertensia.
And, as if Mertensia virginica didn’t have enough gold star attributes, it’s also NOT on Bambi’s menu.
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