Meaning of lungwort in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlʌŋwəːt/


  • 1A bristly herbaceous European plant of the borage family, typically having white-spotted leaves and pink flowers which turn blue as they age.

    Genus Pulmonaria, family Boraginaceae: several species, in particular P. officinalis

    ‘For a sophisticated color combo, consider blue lungwort, so named because it was once thought to have medicinal qualities related to the lungs, and the later-flowering pale yellow Narcissus ‘Jenny’.’
    • ‘While exploring the woods near his home, he came across a forest meadow erupting in purple pasqueflowers, blue lungworts, yellow anemones and white corydalis.’
    • ‘Flowering bulbs such as hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses, and tulips, along with hellebores, lungworts, and heathers carpet the ground beneath.’
    • ‘In the course of a Latin conversation with a Russian bishop, Stellar is told of a legend ‘which relates that God quite suddenly and as though out of the blue came into being of a lungwort leaf’.’
    • ‘Fallen petals from a cluster of pear trees lay like unmelting snowflakes upon the earth; ground ivy, lungwort, and the last bluebells yielded splashes of azure and violet.’
    • ‘The spotty leaves of Pulmonaria officinalis, or lungwort, indicated it could cure tuberculosis and other afflictions of the lungs.’
    • ‘For instance lungwort, with spotted leaves suggesting pulmonary disease, could be used to cure chest complaints.’
    • ‘The spring ephemerals were abundant; he could see primroses, violets, lungwort, and even the delicate blue forget-me-nots as he approached the wetland.’
    • ‘Around the feet of these plants grow small euphorbias, lungwort and ground cover campanulas, while on the wall behind the rich flowers of clematis Star of India are beginning to open.’
    • ‘Plants in other bed are mainly low-growing, shade-loving perennials, such as the hostas, ferns, and lungworts clustered beneath trees.’


    So named because the leaves were said to have the appearance of a diseased lung.

  • 2

    (also tree lungwort)
    A large lichen which grows on trees, forming lobed fronds which are green or brown above and orange-brown below.

    Lobaria pulmonaria, order Peltigerales

    ‘A number of ancient woodland indicators are present here, including tree lungwort, woodruff and sanicle.’
    • ‘The tree lungwort was once used as herbal remedy and is only found in the oldest of woodlands.’
    • ‘Demanding or unusual-looking lichen species, such as tree lungwort and Arctic kidney lichen, are also found in the area.’
    • ‘The somewhat restricted tree lungwort Lobaria pulmonaria is also found in this habitat.…’
    • ‘The tree lungwort is a large lichen, which grows loosely attached to trees or rocks in moist, pollution-free environments of northern and western Britain.’
    • ‘In the New Forest, for instance, tree lungwort has managed to spread only a short distance into the oldest oak plantation, the 200 year-old Bentley Wood, from the adjoining ancient Anses Wood.’


    So named because of its former use to treat lung disease, because of its apparent resemblance to lung tissue.