Know Your Bluebells

The bluebells are flowering in the garden now. Photo of hybrid bluebells

They are very pretty and colourful. However, they are sadly not our true native English bluebells. These are a mixture of Spanish and hybrid bluebells. The original English bluebell has flowers on one side of the stem, causing a distinctive droop. The tubular flowers are of a deep blue and curl back at the ends. The pollen is cream coloured and they are scented.  I photographed this English bluebell growing in some ancient woodland.

English Bluebell

English Bluebell

The Spanish bluebells are of a paler blue. The flowers are shorter and split open at the ends, they adorn both sides of the stem and so the flower is upright. The pollen is blue.

Photo of Spanish Bluebell

Spanish Bluebell

The hybrid has characteristics of both. As the hybrids are fertile the English bluebell is being gradually wiped out.

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8 thoughts on “Know Your Bluebells

  1. I love bluebells (and what of the white and pink ones I’ve seen in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne? Are they hybrids perhaps?).

    I’ll never forget walking in the Sussex woods in Spring with just a sea of blue in the 1970s.

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