Bluebell

Bluebell Scilla non-scripta (Liliaceae) flower from April to June turning the ground in woodland across western Europe into carpets of blue just as the trees are coming into leaf.

The plants tend to be between 25 and 50cm high, with the flower size 1.5 to 2cm long, the flowers are clustered in groups of 5 to 15 on one side of the stem.

clump of bluebell flowers growing in woodland

The flowers are mainly violet –blue in colour and can occasionally be white or pink, they are in a bell shape and the six parts form a tube. The linear or lance shaped leaves are dark green in colour and persist for several weeks after the flowers have gone and form a rosette shape on the ground. Bluebells are one of our hardiest wild flowers returning year after year and are said to mean constancy. The flowers dislike being picked as they quickly droop.

A plant that protects itself from pests

Bluebells protect themselves from animals and insects by using 15 biologically active compounds. Water-soluble alkaloids are one of the extracts and are similar to compounds that have been tested to combat HIV and cancer.

In folk medicine the bulbs we used as a diuretic or styptic. The sap can be used as an adhesive.

Britains favourite wildflower

Many regard the bluebell as the United Kingdom’s favourite flower, the Botanical Society of Britian and Ireland use a stylised bluebell as their logo.

bluebell flowers

Bluebells can be found in a number of places across our farms and have been regularly photographed by our director Fred, these were taken this year in Wentworth Wood, Northamptonshire.

 Wild flowers for shade

If you enjoyed reading Amy's bluebell blog, you may also like this post from January 2014 about wild flowers for shady spots.

Read about wild flowers for shade