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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Save the British Bluebell?!

We read a lot about invasive animals but as I've indicated before we are as much at risk of flowers introduced by Gardeners.

Managers at the National Trust’s Mottisfont Estate say the invasive Spanish Bluebell has spread from private gardens into the wild. They have become established in woodland and are posing a threat to native bluebells.

Apparently Britain has more than half the global population of the native bluebell, however loss of habitat, climate chance and the continuing spread of the Spanish bluebell is but our native Bluebell under severe threat.

The native bluebell is distinguishable from the Spanish Bluebell by its strong sweet scent and intense violet-blue colour. Flowers drop down like a bell along one side of the stem.

The Spanish variety is a pale blue, has larger more upright flowers and little or no scent.


Liz said...

Of course the problem is that they also hybridise and then it's easy to become confused...

I have some in my garden which were here when I moved in... I chop them every year for vases in the house to stop them pollenating my English Bluebells, and trust me they have a very strong perfume. But I know they're hybrids because the bells are similar to hyacinths rather than trumpet shaped like English Bluebells, also the pollen is blue rather than cream...

Pete said...

yes hybridization is a big problem

Tricia said...

Oh yes - please let us save the British Bluebell. My garden is overrun with the foreign invaders in blue, pink and white. Every year I dug up loads and every year they come back again. If I could only get rid, I'd love English Bells in the garden!!