Also called ‘Wild Hyacinth’, ‘Wood Bell’, ‘Fairy Flower’, and ‘Bell Bottom, Bluebells form dense carpets of violet-blue flowers in woodland. The nodding, bell-shaped flowers have 6 recurved lobes at the mouth, and have yellow stamens. Flowers can occasionally be pink or white. Each flowering stem bends downwards and has 4-16 sweetly scented flowers along one side.The flowers grow from a bulb along with narrow, glossy green leaves. The Bluebell is easily confused with the Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica), and the hybrid between the two Hyacinthoides × massartiana. Plant height 20 to 50 cm. Flower size 1.5 to 2 cm long.
It flowers April to June, and is found in deciduous woodland and scrub, hedgerows, and on sea cliffs. A native species, common and widespread throughout.
Bluebells provide many butterflies, bees, flies and other insects with a rich source of nectar. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) prohibits landowners from removing Bluebells from their land for sale, and prohibits anyone from digging them up from the countryside. It is estimated that between 25-50% of all the world’s Bluebells are found in Britain, where they reach their greatest density.