Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Flower-Visiting Insects and Birds of Virginia Bluebells in Illinois
(Hummingbirds & most insects suck nectar; some bees collect pollen as indicated below; some flies feed on pollen as indicated below; all observations are from Robertson)
Trochilidae: Archilochus colubris sn
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus auricomus sn, Bombus bimaculatus sn, Bombus griseocallis sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn fq, Bombus vagans sn; Anthophoridae (Anthophorini): Anthophora abrupta sn, Anthophora ursina sn fq; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia belfragii sn cp fq, Synhalonia dubitata sn fq, Synhalonia speciosa sn fq icp; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada dentariae sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia atriventris sn cp, Osmia lignaria lignaria sn, Osmia pumila sn cp
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella striata sn np, Lasioglossum versatus sn np
Syrphidae: Rhingia nasica sn fp, Teuchocnemis lituratus fp np; Bombyliidae: Bombylius major sn
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus sn, Vanessa atalanta sn; Papilionidae: Papilio troilus sn
Hesperiidae: Erynnis juvenalis sn
Sphingidae: Hemaris thysbe sn, Hyles lineata sn
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Mertensia virginica
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mertensia virginica
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Mertensia virginica (common names Virginia bluebell, Virginia cowslip, lungwort oysterleaf, Roanoke bells) is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to moist woodland in eastern North America. It is a spring ephemeral plant with bell-shaped sky-blue flowers opening from pink buds. The leaves are rounded and gray-green, borne on stems up to 60 cm (24 in) tall. They are petiolate at the bottom of the flower stem and sessile at the top.
The stamens and stigma are spaced too far apart for self-fertilization. The flower can be pollinated by bumblebees but, due to its funnel shape bumblebees must hover, making the bumblebee a rare pollinator. Butterflies are the most common pollinators because they can easily perch on the edges and still enjoy the nectar.
Plants are hardy to hardiness zone 3 - −40 °C (−40 °F).
Mertensia virginica is the type species for the genus Mertensia and was first described by Linnaeus in 1753 as Pulmonaria virginica. The genus Pulmonaria is today restricted to 19 species in the tribe Boragineae. When Albrecht Wilhelm Roth erected the genus Mertensia in 1797, he named the Virginia bluebell as Mertensia pulmonarioides, apparently unaware that Linnaeus had already named it in his Species Plantarum. Roth's name is a superfluous synonym and has been used in recent literature.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Mertensia virginica". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Carl von Linné (Linnaeus). 1753. Species Plantarum 1:135. (see External links below)
- James S. Pringle. 2004. "Nomenclature of the Virginia-bluebell, Mertensia virginica (Boraginaceae)". SIDA, contributions to botany 21(2):771-775.(see External links below)
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