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Mawson's Lungwort

Pulmonaria "Mawson's Blue"

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, waterside, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
Blue tubular flowers which appear clumped together in clusters.
The fruits are shiny nutlets.
A perennial naturalised garden escape species. The hairy leaves are oval to lance-shaped, pointed and tapering at the base. Unlike most species of Lungwort, the leaves are not spotted.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Pulmonaria "Mawson's Blue" is a cultivar of the plant species Pulmonaria, also known as lungwort. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is known for its blue flowers that bloom in the spring and its leaves that are typically spotted or speckled with silver or white. It is a popular choice for gardens due to its hardy nature and ability to thrive in shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial to full shade.


Mawson's Lungwort, or Pulmonaria "Mawson's Blue," is a stunning perennial plant that is a must-have for any garden enthusiast. Named after the famous polar explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, this beautiful plant is native to Europe and western Asia and is widely cultivated for its striking blue flowers and unique foliage.

The leaves of Mawson's Lungwort are oval-shaped and covered in tiny white spots, giving them a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other plants. The flowers, which bloom in the spring, are a bright shade of blue and are borne in clusters atop tall stems that rise above the foliage.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Mawson's Lungwort is its ability to change the color of its flowers. When the flowers first open, they are a bright pink color, but as they mature, they gradually transition to a vibrant blue hue. This color-changing ability makes Mawson's Lungwort an intriguing plant to observe and adds to its appeal as a garden specimen.

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, Mawson's Lungwort is also valued for its medicinal properties. Traditionally, the plant has been used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma due to its high content of tannins and mucilage. The leaves and flowers of the plant are typically harvested in the spring and can be brewed into a tea or used in tinctures and extracts.

Mawson's Lungwort is a relatively easy plant to grow and is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade but can also tolerate full sun in cooler climates. The plant is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it a low-maintenance addition to any garden.

Mawson's Lungwort is a member of the Boraginaceae family, which includes other popular garden plants such as forget-me-nots and comfrey. It is a clump-forming perennial that can reach a height of up to 12 inches and a spread of 18 inches.

The plant is a popular choice for woodland gardens, where it can thrive in the dappled shade of trees and shrubs. It is also suitable for planting in borders and containers, where its unique foliage and bright blue flowers can provide a striking contrast to other plants.

Mawson's Lungwort is a relatively long-lived plant, with a lifespan of up to 10 years. It can be propagated by division in the spring or fall, and individual plants can be divided into smaller clumps to be planted elsewhere in the garden.

Aside from its medicinal uses, Mawson's Lungwort is also a valuable source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, making it an important plant for maintaining biodiversity in the garden.

In terms of care, Mawson's Lungwort prefers a moist soil that is rich in organic matter. It should be watered regularly, especially during periods of drought, and should be fertilized once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer.

As with all plants, Mawson's Lungwort may be susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Slugs and snails can be a problem, especially in damp conditions, while powdery mildew and rust can affect the foliage. These issues can be prevented by ensuring good air circulation around the plants and avoiding overwatering.

In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, Mawson's Lungwort has been found to contain several bioactive compounds that may have potential therapeutic benefits. For example, studies have shown that the plant contains compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial for preventing or treating a range of health conditions.

One study found that an extract of Mawson's Lungwort had strong antioxidant activity and could protect against oxidative stress, which is believed to play a role in aging and a variety of diseases. Another study found that the plant contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

In addition, Mawson's Lungwort has been found to contain compounds with antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could make it a useful natural remedy for treating infections.

While more research is needed to fully understand the therapeutic potential of Mawson's Lungwort, these preliminary studies suggest that the plant may have a range of health benefits beyond its traditional use as a respiratory remedy.

Overall, Mawson's Lungwort is a fascinating plant with a rich history and many potential uses. Whether you're a gardener looking to add a beautiful and unique plant to your collection, or an herbalist interested in exploring the plant's medicinal properties, Mawson's Lungwort is a plant that is sure to capture your imagination and spark your curiosity.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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