May 07, · The main differences between a Spanish bluebell and an English bluebell are: On the Spanish flower, the bells are all around the stem, not just on one side which gives the English bluebell its drooping stature. The leaves are wider and bigger. The petals of each bell open wider and flare at the ends rather than curl. inside the flowers, the anthers with the pollen usually blue (although this may vary a little). The hybrid between these two is also very common – they’re actually more abundant than Spanish bluebells now - with a whole range of intermediate characters.
Native bluebells are almost synonymous with English springtime, there is little more distinctive and evocative than the haze of blue they spread across a woodland floor. However the native English bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scriptais not the only bluebell we have. The Spanish bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica was introduced as a garden flower and can produce fertile hybrids with the natives — indeed the true Spanish bluebell is relatively rarely encountered but many hybrid Spanish bluebells occur especially in and close to gardens.
Below is a brief illustrative guide to help you tell the difference. Native bluebells have relatively thin leaves, around Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebells tend to have much thicker leaves, around 3cm wide.
The leaves of the Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebell often have a fleshier feel to them. Native bluebells are a distinctive deep-blue in colour, whereas Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebells are often lighter, more pale blue or pink. Look also at the shape of the flowers, the native bluebell flowers curl back at the petal tips whilst those of the Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebells what does sole mean in italian splayed.
If you get down close, look at the colour of the anthers; these are cream in natives and tend to be a pale-blue colour in the Spanish and hybrid-Spanish, although they can be cream coloured in white or pink flowers. Native bluebells have the flowers concentrated on just one side of the stem, giving them the distinctive nodding, drooping look. Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebell flowers are on all sides of the flower spike, giving the flower a much more upright appearance.
You should be able to pick up a sweet aroma from the flowers of the native bluebell whilst those of the Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebell are generally scentless. This means there can be a wide variation in characteristics making a confident ID difficult at times — however distinguishing the native from non-native is usually fairly straightforward using the characteristics above. Hybridisation with native bluebells is one of the most significant threats that the Spanish bluebells pose to the natives.
I put together a crib which shows the key characteristics of the typical English bluebells below — hopefully this will provide an useful visual aid! However the detail provided in this blog by Cumbria Botany is perhaps the most comprehensive illustrations of the two species and the hybrids in between.
Hi how to make a boondoggle cross please feel free! Very informative, thank you. Glad to hear it — always go off a few characteristics to be sure as hybrids between what would cause a washing machine to not drain English and Spanish are what is the difference between english and spanish bluebells, especially outside of the natural English bluebell habitat!
I am just writing a post about bluebells and as I found both types in one day, I was hoping to add a link to your blog in case people want more details. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Search Search for:. Look at the leaves Native bluebells have relatively thin leaves, around Showing the difference in size between the leaves of native bluebell left and hybrid-Spanish bluebell rightboth with a 50p for scale.
Look at the flowers Native bluebells are a distinctive deep-blue in colour, whereas Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebells are often lighter, more pale blue or pink. Showing the difference in flower what is the difference between english and spanish bluebells between native bluebell left and hybrid-Spanish bluebell right Showing the difference in anther colour between native bluebell left and hybrid-Spanish bluebell right 3. Look at the architecture Native bluebells have the flowers concentrated on just one side of the stem, giving them the distinctive nodding, drooping look.
Showing the difference in flower structure between native bluebell left and hybrid-Spanish bluebell right 4. Sniff the flowers! Still unsure? Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Previous Article Can you eat hogweed? Next Article Where to see bluebells near Grantham. Oooh thank you! I was hoping someone would tell me what they are! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.
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Spanish X and Wild English Bluebells
May 16, · Native bluebells are a distinctive deep-blue in colour, whereas Spanish and hybrid-Spanish bluebells are often lighter, more pale blue or pink. Look also at the shape of the flowers, the native bluebell flowers curl back at the petal tips whilst those . The Spanish Bluebells are mainly confined to gardens while the English Bluebells dominate the woods around the area. The English Bluebell is under threat from the Spanish Bluebell. The English and Spanish Bluebells can cross pollinate but it is the attributes of the Spanish Bluebell that dominate. The native species' flowers are mostly deep blue (although there are the occasional pink ones), while Spanish bluebells tend to have pale-blue or pink flowers. Caption: The three types of bluebell in the UK Do the bluebell flowers have any scent? The native bluebell .
I love to share my extensive gardening knowledge with readers, so that they too can enjoy the wonders of all kinds of verdant plant life. I had to stare hard at these two photos above for quite a while to find the difference between the two plants.
The plant on the left comes from my garden, while the plants on the right comes from a woodland bluebell grove nestled deep in the countryside, miles from the madding crowd.
Many gardens have a Spanish and English bluebell cross, which has some of the characteristics of each plant. The traditional, common bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta , is a perennial spring wildflower common in Europe from Northern Spain upwards.
The whole of the British Isles and Ireland were once carpeted with them, when the lands were mostly forest, which is where the wild bluebell grows.
While it is often referred to as the "English bluebell" this is a name introduced probably only since the internet started, as before that people just called them "bluebells" or, occasionally "wild hyacinth". The Wikipedia entry for Hyacinthoides non-scripta states that in Scotland the name "Bluebell" is reserved for the summer flowering harebell, and this is total rubbish. I have never, ever heard anyone referring to the harebell as a bluebell. Perhaps the writer got his information from city people who couldn't tell the difference between a daisy and a buttercup!
The wild bluebell grows in wooded areas in shade or dappled sunshine, and flowers for about a month in early spring each year. They make wonderful cut flowers for the house, and their heady scent pervades the air, bringing the promise of summer. The Spanish bluebell was introduced into British gardens in the 17th century, so is hardly a newcomer. Upright, erect, colorful and with the ability to grow in full sun, the Spanish bluebell actually makes a much better garden flower.
In recent years, botanists with nothing much else to do with their time have decided that the Spanish bluebell is encroaching on the wild bluebell population, and so must be eradicated. Luckily, most people are totally ignoring them, and continue to enjoy the annual display put on by the bluebell, no matter its nationality.
A British government committee, who really should have been concentrating on important things like the economy, or the crime rate, decided to jump on the bandwagon and make it an offense for anyone to remove wild bluebell bulbs from their natural habitat in the countryside. They are NOT aliens; they are beautiful garden flowers that have some cross-breeding in their otherwise pure background. In effect, they are multicultural bluebells. Nature does an excellent job of propagating bluebells.
Each flowerhead, and there are literally millions in a dense bluebell wood, is packed with black seeds encased inside the dried sacs at the base of the flowerhead. When they are ripe, the sacs open and cast the seeds to the wind, or to the forest floor underneath. There, many seeds germinate and sprout the following year as a slender grass-like leaf.
At the base forms a tiny bulb which gets bigger every year until it too is mature enough to flower. Other seeds become food for small forest foraging birds and animals, but those who survive very quickly help spread the new colony of bluebells. Meanwhile, each flowering plant sends out bulblets underground, which flower when they mature. In this way, one single bulb can very quickly colonize a large area, given the perfect growing conditions. To grow bluebells, you will need either seed or bulbs, there is no other way to grow them, unless you are a scientist who knows how to clone them from a single molecule under a microscope.
While the English bluebell will always remain so, and the offshoot bulbs the main bulb throws off each will also continue to be pure bluebells, the seeds that develop on the flower heads each year will carry the parentage of the pollen that arrived on the carpel, the female part of the flower. The resulting seeds will grow into a hybrid cross should that pollen come from a Spanish bluebell.
Because the Spanish bluebell is the more dominant species, the resulting flowers will show more likeness to their Hispanic parent than they do to their English parent.
Scientists are worried that eventually the English bluebell will die out, as it's characteristics are slowly lost. Each bulb reproduces to grow several more clones each year, and the new bulbs can flower in a much shorter time-scale than their seedling brothers.
So, in effect, having a collection of pure English bluebell bulbs put by, or growing, in a protected area will ensure the continuation of the species. As bluebells grow best in deep forests, under the canopy of trees, and as man continues to destroy the forests, then it is possible that one day there will be no English bluebells left except in laboratories.
But that is not about to happen in our lifetime, so we may as well just enjoy those pretty flowers as they are, Spanish or English, who cares? I am very pleased that our government made it illegal to pick or uproot bluebells as otherwise some areas could have been severely depleted.
I doubt that this had any impact on fiscal or criminal activities. Thoroughly enjoyed this article! As I am contemplating adding bluebells to our garden, this was a good primer. Thank you. What a profoundly ignorant comment. The sort of comment that could only come from someone contemptuous of history and heritage, not to mention ecology. Or perhaps someone blinded by the money that garden centres and nurseries can make by selling damaging plants to careless shoppers.
Rather like those who don't give a damn about our native red squirrels being displaced and killed by North American greys. What can I do if a garden centre has sold me Spanish bluebells as English bluebells? I want the true woodland bluebell. This has happened twice. I am a Scot and have always lived in country areas in Scotland. Everybody I knew called harebells, bluebells. This is the Scotch Bluebell. We learned at school that the 'proper' name for them was harebell.
We called Hyacinthoides non-scripta, wild hyacinths and learned that these were called bluebells in England. English, Spanish or Hybrid. That's what happens. That's evolution happening right now. My English son has married a lovely Spanish girl and their daughter, Carlotta, is a beautiful hybrid. What does it matter if the bluebells mix? As long as there are bluebells in the Spanish and in the English springtimes I will be happy. It's a good way to tell the difference for anyone wondering, as the wild bluebell's stamen is always yellow, and harder to see as you have to prise the petals apart.
We saw several bluebell woods in Ireland when we lived there- they are so beautiful! I didn't realize the Spanish Bluebells were a different type - interesting that the stamen is blue! Home Appliances. Air Conditioners. Water Heaters. Home Improvement. Interior Design. Home Furnishings. Home Decor. Lawn Care. Pest Control. Bed Bugs. Beneficial Organisms. Garden Pest Control. Rock Gardens. Related Articles. By Paul Goodman. By Eugene Brennan.
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