blue and pink flowers on a stem with white-spotted leaves

The lungwort gets its name from the white spots on its leaves, that people thought looked like diseased lungs. “Wort” means “plant.” So, lung-plant.

It’s also sometimes called “boy and girl plant.” Can you guess why?

Medieval herbalists used the plant to treat lung ailments, thinking that anything that looked like a sick lung should heal a sick lung. It didn’t work, though.

The white spots are actually air pockets in the leaves, that help the foliage to stay cool.

Watercolor on paper, finished digitally.

Lungwort: Pulmonaria saccharata