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Bluebell

(Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

Bluebell © Bob Gibbons

Bluebell © Bob Gibbons


"How the merry bluebell rings
To the mosses underneath..."

- Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Adeline"

Description

A vibrant blue flower that probably needs no introduction. Its bell-like flowers with up-rolled tips are a sure sign that spring has arrived.

Where it grows

Woodlands, also hedgerows and grassland.

Best time to see

Late April and late May.

Cultural info

  • In the Language of Flowers it symbolises everlasting love.

How's it doing?

Although still common in Britain, bluebells are threatened locally by habitat destruction, collection from the wild, and from the escape of the Spanish bluebell from gardens and subsequent cross-breeding and loss of true native populations. The latter is a particular concern - during our last survey around one in six bluebells found in broadleaved woodland was a Spanish rather than native bluebell.

Bluebells are now protected from illegal commercial harvesting. 

3 things you may not know

  • The UK is home to about half of the world’s bluebell population.
  • Its sap was to glue feathers onto arrows in the Middle Ages and to stiffen ruffs in Tudor times. 
  • It is dedicated to England's Patron Saint, St George.

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