Siberian Bugloss, Heart-Leaf Brunnera
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
2012 Perennial Plant of the Year
Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
Brunnera macrophylla (Adams) I.M.Johnst. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Brunnera. It was described as such by Ivan Murray Johnston in Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University in 1924. It was first named and described as Myosotis macrophylla by Johannes Michael Friedrich Adams in Beiträge zur Naturkunde in 1805. Other contributing authors were Friedrich Weber and Daniel Matthias Heinrich Mohr.
The genus, Brunnera Steven, was named and described by Christian von Steven in Bulletin de la Société Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou (Moscow) in 1851. Plants of the World Online by Kew lists only 3 accepted species of Brunnera.
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ was introduced by Walters Gardens in 2000. This cultivar was the runner-up for Perennial Plant of the Year in 2010, but it won ahead of 431 nominees in 2012. To read the article about the Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ by Walters Gardens click HERE.
I bought this Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ home from Muddy Creek Greenhouse on June 7, 2018. I had previously grown a cultivar by the name of ‘King’s Ransom’ in 2012 while living in Mississippi but it didn’t work out so well. I bought off the discount each at Lowe’s and it was sort of on it’s way out at the time. Hopefully, this cultivar will do better.
When I found this plant at Muddy Creek I hadn’t expected to see one, and it was the only one they had. So, it wasn’t one of those times when I could go back and get it later. I knew I could find a spot for it in the shade bed one way or another. So, I decided I would take it home with me.
So, with a little rearranging, I made room. I scooted the Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ closer to the edge of the bed. Moles have become a real problem here and I ran into a tunnel when I was digging. I have to keep an eye on that, because when your moles dig under your plants their roots don’t touch the soil then water just goes down the molehill.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Origin: North Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Turkey
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-8b (-40 to 15° F)
Size: 12-18” tall x 12-18” wide
Light: Part to full shade
Soil: Average, well-drained soil kept consistently moist
Water: Average… Depending on if you get rain, huh?
Flowers: Produced small blue flowers in April-May…
So far I am well pleased with this Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It is doing very well and measured 7 1/2″ tall x 14 1/2″ wide on June 26.
Brunnera prefers growing in a shady area in well-drained soil that is kept consistently moist. According to information on the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ is more tolerant of a little dryness better than most cultivars. It is funny how information says they prefer consistently moist soil then they say have average water needs… Well, being in the shade bed with the Hosta and next to the pots of Alocasia, I am sure it will get plenty of water. We shall see.
Brunnera prefers cooler summers (OUCH!) which is probably why ‘King’s Ransom’ didn’t do well in Mississippi. Well, we have hot summers here, too, but they aren’t as long and usually not quite as humid (even though it feels like it to me).
They spread by underground rhizomes slowly to form a nice clump over time. In “just right” conditions it may self-sow but the seedlings may not have the variegation.
Well, another Brunnera bites the dust… Along with the heat and dryness, we had our annual Japanese Beetle invasion. This year was worse than before. The shade bed the Brunner ‘Jack Frost’ is, or was in, is under two Chinese Elm trees. At first the beetles weren’t so bad and extra watering helped. Then, overnight, it was like an invasion. During a two-day period the beetles completely changed the environment of the shade beds. Japanese Beetles love Chinese Elm leaves and changed the shade bed to light shade. It was apparently to much sun for the Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ and I didn’t even have time to move it to a better location. So, next time I have the opportunity to bring a Brunnera home, it will go in the north bed…
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.