Bluebells

Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell)

Spring has been achingly long in arriving this year. The growth and life is here and flourishing; a multitude of green and lush vegetation, but it continues to rain, rain and rain some more. At the end of April the temperatures were touching zero degrees celsius overnight. We’re enjoying a few sporadic sunny days but overwhelmingly the weather is grey and soggy. The days are lengthening but even the bright flowers and blossoms seem washed out amidst perpetual cloud. I’m hopeful, warmth and blue skies are coming this way soon.

The Woodland bluebells began to appear a few weeks after Easter. Oscar waited patiently on our morning walk whilst I photographed as many as possible. There’s a few weeks when the bluebells appear to carpet the ground around your feet in vivid, delicate flowers. Wherever I stand, they look more dense from another point further into the wood. It takes me a while each season to remember the saying; the grass seems greener, and truly the bluebells seem more blue…

They bloom each year and each year I see them and think how beautiful they are. They are always magical.

Hyacinthoides Hispanica

This year I’ve noticed the growing number of a different and invasive species of bluebells, Hyacinthoides Hispanica, the Spanish bluebells. They were introduced by the Victorians and have now amalgamated with the native species. According to The Wildlife Trust, a large proportion of woodland bluebell sites now contain Spanish flowers and the hybrid variety too. The Spanish flowers look distinctly different from the native species however the hybrids are less easy to distinguish.

The Spanish flowers are much larger, broader and grow straight stems, the flowers fall on both sides of the stem and they do not have a smell. They are a less vivid colour and less delicate in design. Unfortunately these more robust plants outcompete our native Hyacinthoides non-scripta plants. 50% of the world’s supply of common bluebells grow here in Britain. Most bluebells planted in gardens and growing on verges are not the native species. People like the look of them but I fear they are a threat to our beautiful native bluebell.

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