Look out for and appreciate our native bluebells

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote about bluebells. I see no reason not to return to the topic. The joy of bluebells in our woodlands, hedgerows and roadside verges makes this time of the year special. Is there anything as lovely as a carpet of bluebells in a wood? I think not.

I heard on radio last week that the soil in Britain is perfect for our native bluebell – Hyacinthoides non-sripta. It appears we have half the world’s population. They are protected, and it’s a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells, with a fine of up to £5,000 for each bulb.

The Spanish variety Hyacinthoides hispanica is an introduced species, though similar, it doesn’t have the intense blue of our native bluebell, and sadly easily hybridises with our native variety, reducing the stock of our native variety.

If you’re intending to buy bluebells for your garden do please ask for the native variety. Here’s how you can tell the difference – taken from Wikipedia. Radio Solent has a photo montage of bluebell carpeting woodlands. The Natural History Museum has extensive comment on bluebells, should you wish to learn more.

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