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The Blue Belles

Last Sunday  I promised to edit and repost one more of the old wildflower post so you can see another of the blue wildflowers of the Yukon. This one is blooming in my perennial garden right now, so the time for reposting is here. (I’ve also submitted this post to Project Blue at Anna Carson Photography.)


We could call this tall lungwort, but that’s just one of it’s names—the one that makes it sound like a deadly disease. I prefer to call them languid ladies, another of their common names, because they look like southern belles in fancy ball gowns, don’t they? As I tried to get this photo, they were not languid at all, but were energetically dancing in the wind. I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps there was a ball I was not invited to.
I could also call them northern bluebells or chiming bells, but I grew up calling harebells by the bluebell name and I’m not about to stop now. So languid ladies it’ll be for me. Harebells grow here, too, by the way, but I haven’t seen any yet this year.
If you like eating wild plants, you’ll be happy to know that tall lungwort, as a member of the borage family, is edible. If you like, you can add the little ladies to salads. No, they don’t taste like chicken; they taste like fish. The leaves of the lungwort can be steeped for a delicately fishy tasting tea, too—a tea that was at one time was thought useful for treating lung diseases. And now you know where that lungwort name cames from.

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Reader Comments (12)

I looooooooove those!!

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSecret Agent Mama

Lungwort seems an entirely inappropriate name for those beauties. Of course they're Languid Ladies!

Delicately fishy tea sounds...horrible!

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrosemary

I think you are right - Languid ladies - even dancing languid ladies - is much more suitable name for them. Lovely photo. Thank you for all the interesting information about them.

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRaven

Delicately fishy tea sounds...horrible!

But if it's medicinal, it has to taste bad, right?

June 6, 2008 | Registered Commenterrebecca

Lovely blue pic..very interesting to find their medicinal use.. I have lots of borage here and use in salads for their gorgeous colour.. these are new to me, will try to find some! :)

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Lovely picture ! I don't know if I have seen this flower but I love the expression "southern belles "

June 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGattina

So pretty and what great information about them...

June 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterellen b

Harebells sounds suspiciously like hairballs.

June 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercandy

Never thought of it that way, but of course you are right. And I have enough hairballs around here!

June 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

I just finished a busy year of teaching and my mind works in weird ways lately. :)

June 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercandy

My mind always works in weird ways.... :)

June 10, 2008 | Registered Commenterrebecca

Love the bluebells! Such a pretty blue!

June 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLesley

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