Invaders Threaten Our Native Bluebells

If you enjoy strolling through a bluebell wood over the Spring Bank Holiday, you may not be aware that this beautiful sight might soon disappear, Martyn Loach explains why we should all be aware of a foreign invader.

Created by Martyn Loach on Sunday, 3rd of May, 2015.
Updated on Wednesday, 14th of December, 2016.


Bluebells

Bluebells are such an iconic spring plant throughout our woodlands that it would be unthinkable if they were no longer there to enjoy. But the fact is that they are under threat from a horticultural armada.

You may not be aware that there are two types of bluebell, the elegant English version and a hybrid Spanish invader. Once an invited guest into our gardens, the Spanish bluebell has now escaped its domestic confines and is now inter breeding with our native plant.

Spot The Difference

There are various differences between the two types. The English bluebell bends elegantly in the breeze and only flowers on one side. These flowers are much darker than the Spanish bluebell, they are scented and contain pollen that is cream coloured rather than greenish blue.

The problem is that when the varieties cross pollinate, it is the characteristics of the Spanish bluebell that dominate, and slowly but surely the delicate attributes of the native plant that we love so much will be subdued.

There are more bluebells in the dappled shade of British woodland than anywhere else in the world. It would be tragic if this wonderful sight were to disappear but eradicating the non-native bluebell is impractical.

However, you can do your bit by not encouraging their spread. Compost garden waste, don't dump it in the countryside and, the next time you visit a garden centre, buy some English bluebell seed that is readily available rather than the Spanish alternative.

Visit A Bluebell Wood

You're spoilt for choice when looking for a bluebell wood to visit, wherever you are in the country they'll be one nearby, but don't forget that it is illegal to dig up the bulbs.

Related Articles

GardenSite's Flori Bosnigeanu Completes The Great Birmingham Run

GardenSite's Flori Bosnigeanu Completes The Great Birmingham Run

With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Friday, 21st of October, 2016.

Gardensite Again Wins 'Best Online Garden Retail Buying Team' At Glee

Gardensite Again Wins 'Best Online Garden Retail Buying Team' At Glee

Repeating the success of last year, Nathan James Dodd is pleased to report that Gardensite.co.uk has again been voted as having the 'Best Online Garden Retail Buying Team' at Glee 16, the UK's most important Garden and Leisure Industry show.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of September, 2016.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2016

Hampton Court Flower Show 2016

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that opens today (5 July) has something to offer everyone, with show gardens, talks, trade stands and plenty more. Nathan James Dodd attended the Press Day and was impressed with how much there is to see.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Tuesday, 5th of July, 2016.

May Pond Maintenance

May Pond Maintenance

With the weather warming up, May is a good time to introduce new life into your pond and complete any maintenance activities left over from the winter and spring. Dan Everton reviews the tasks that need to be undertaken this month.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Wednesday, 20th of April, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

April Gardening Jobs

April Gardening Jobs

April, particularly if you are on holiday over Easter, is the time when gardeners, whatever their level of enthusiasm and skill, want to get into the garden. Andy Taylor looks at the gardening jobs that can be achieved this month.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Thursday, 30th of March, 2017.

April Pond Maintenance

April Pond Maintenance

With rising water temperature and kinder weather, April is a good month for pond maintenance and Dan Everton takes a look at the jobs that need to be done this month.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Thursday, 30th of March, 2017.

How To Care For Your Spring Lawn

How To Care For Your Spring Lawn

Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Wednesday, 9th of March, 2016.

Choosing Timber and Wooden Planters

Choosing Timber and Wooden Planters

Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 21st of March, 2017.