Dark skies. Howling gale. Snow again. Hellebores and daffs bent to the ground by the stuff. Ugh. Still, this lovely thing. Pulmonaria rubra. The earliest in flower of the genus, coarse but winter-proof foliage, and these lovely rose-pink flowers since late January. Alas, they don’t cut – or at least I’ve not found a technique for stopping them flopping almost immediately in the vase. So, it’s coat and gloves to admire them. Native to central and eastern Europe, they like some shade, not fussy about soil, and manage US zones 2-8. They are also deer proof.
There are a couple of named sorts, none vastly different to one another, well, except for the white flowered one, though why on earth bother with that? Flowering is usually over by the time the other species get going, so as far as I know, no hybrids with them, so no pretty leaf markings. Some insect or other likes the pink anyway, and the plant seeds itself, usually tactfully, around the garden.
We have it amongst a lot of also self-sown hellebores, with which it works very well. Works with snowdrops too, clashes with daffodils, and the colour swamps out other late winter pinks – especially Cyclamen coum.