British Bluebells

There is no more uplifting sight than a woodland floor covered with bluebells in Spring. Britain actually has three species of bluebells which grow across the country. Out of the three only one species is native to the country. Our only indigenous bluebell Hycainthoides non scripta is currently under threat. The threats are from hybrid crosses with both its Spanish cousin Hyacinthoides hispanica, commonly seen in gardens, and Hyacinthoides hispanica x non scripta. Gardeners are now being encouraged to avoid planting Spanish or hybrid plants in the countryside or close to a truly native bluebell population. Scientific research is currently being conducted to better understand the intermixing of genes between the species. Our bluebell could be threatened from various factors such as habitat loss, competition from non native species, unsustainable collection and climate change.


Check out Plantlife’s guide to help identify which bluebell species are growing in your garden.


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Published by

Kirsty Wilson

Horticulture is my inspiration! I am the Herbaceous Supervisor at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Photographer, Award winning Garden Designer, BBC Beechgrove Garden Television Presenter & BBC Radio 4 GQT Panellist. I want to inspire people to grow plants, connect with nature and have a positive impact on the world.

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