This perennial produces one of the first shows of flowers in early spring, and is an important source of early nectar for bees. The bell-shaped flowers form in clumps and have five fine, tissue-like petals. The colours range from pink, violet to blueish. The evergreen leaves are heavily spotted and thought to look like lungs, hence its name. A fairly hairy plant.
It flowers from March to May. Found in damp woodland and hedge banks in semi-shade. An introduced species from continental Europe, it is commonly grown in gardens and is widely naturalised throughout the British Isles, although rare in Ireland and the far north of Scotland.
March 2017, except for leaf May 2012, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012 and 2017.