The lungworts are the genus Pulmonaria of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe and western Asia, with one species (P. mollissima) east to central Asia. According to various estimates there may be between 10 and 18 Pulmonaria species found in the wild, but the taxonomy of this genus is very confusing. The scientific name Pulmonaria is derived from Latin pulmo (the lung). In the times of sympathetic magic, the spotted oval leaves of P. officinalis were thought to symbolize diseased, ulcerated lungs, and so were used to treat pulmonary infections. The common name in many languages also refers to lungs, as in English 'lungwort' and German 'Lungenkraut'. In some East European languages, the common name is derived from a word for honey, e.g. Russian 'medunitza' and Polish 'miodunka'. English colloquial names include Lungwort, Soldiers and Sailors, Spotted dog, Joseph and Mary, Jerusalem Cowslip, Bethlehem Sage.
Contributions by Mashenka, Darorcilmir, and Linkoman.