View Larger Virginia bluebell

Planted at Mount Vernon

Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3 3 4 4b 5 5b 6 6b 7 7b 8 8b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b

    A harbinger of spring, emerging foliage is deep purple but quickly turns green, and is followed by terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped blue flowers. Virginia bluebells will rapidly colonize in moist shady areas. They are herbaceous perennials, which means that foliage dies to the ground as the plant goes dormant towards mid-summer.

    Latin Name

    Mertensia virginica



    Also Known As


    Type of Plant

    Perennials Perennials


    Spring Spring


    Max height Max Height: 2'
    Max spread Max Spread: 1.5'


  • Flower Border
  • Naturalize

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Shade Full Shade
    Part Shade Part Shade


    Native Range

    Eastern North America


    In 1734, plantsman John Custis of Williamsburg sent some Virginia bluebell rhizomes to his friend Peter Collinson in London.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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