Heartleaf Brunnera

Brunnera macrophylla
aka Siberian Bugloss; Heartleaf Brunnera; False Forget-Me-Not


This is a must have for any shade gardener in New England, and a personal favorite.  The leaf is heart-shaped as the common name implies, and the flower stalks with upright spikes have blue sprays of flowers (mid to late spring) that contrast well with the dark green foliage.  The plant forms a cushion-shape mound, and can easily be divided to plant in mass.  It is extremely easy to grow and has very few insect or disease problems.  It may spread prolifically in ideal conditions (i.e. moist sites), but is non-invasive/non-agressive: seedlings do not wander far and are easily pulled.  This is a great perennial for the front of a shade garden, and a drift of several plants creates a great focal point as part of layering.   Several cultivars are readily available, and more will hopefully be made available in the near future.  Selections with silvery or cream-colored leaves (e.g. ‘Silver Wings’; ‘Emerald Mist’; ‘Variegata’) can really illuminate your shade garden.  Brunerra mixes very well with many types of hostas and ferns in the shade garden.  They also fit nicely in front of taller, maroon colors found in coral bells (Huechera) and Ligularia.


Part shade to full shade

It can tolerate damp soil, but prefers rich, moist soil that is well-drained

Zones 3 – 8

Mid-spring to late spring

Flower = delicate blue sprays; Foliage = dark green

Size  Height = 1 to 1.5 feet; Spread = 1 to 2 feet


Native to New England?
No.  Native to Siberia, Eastern Mediterranean


Highly recommend for all shade gardens


Brunnera macrophylla ‘Variegata’




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Biodiversity Exposed