Blue is a favorite early spring bloom color, whether it be Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla), a favorite perennial at the top of the photo above, lungwort (Pulmonaria), Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) or grape hyacinth (Muscari ameniacum) bulbs. Virginia bluebells (Mertensia Virginica), shown in the lower half of the photo above, are the native choice.
Virginia bluebells are easy to grow, take shade or dappled sun and really brighten up a garden. They are also beautiful — emerging with purple buds that transform into several hues of deep and pale blues. Their leaves are the palest green, perfect for early spring.
Because the plants are dormant for most of the year, they can be hard to find at times other than when they are in bloom. If you want to purchase them at a time of year other than spring, your best bet may be placing an order with a nursery by mail. Virginia bluebells mixed with Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)below.
For more information:
From the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, look here;
Great photos from the Mt. Cuba Center; and
For a more detailed history from the Virginia Native Plant Society, please look here.