Author Topic: The REAL English Bluebell  (Read 3605 times)

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Online ideasguy

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The REAL English Bluebell
« on: December 24, 2008, 12:34:53 PM »
I finally found a good document which clears up some of the ambiguity about one of the flowers I knew and loved as a child, the Bluebell.

Its a very good read.
Now we know that:
The botanical name for the true English bluebell  is Hyacinthoides non-scripta (finally got that sorted out)
Hyacinthoides non-scripta has a one-sided inflorescence, that is, the bells hang only on one side of the drooping stem.
The native wild bluebell cannot easily be established outside its native habitat
Scilla non-scripta is an obsolete name (presumably once for being the botanical name for bluebells?)
Hyacinthoides non-scripta is a deeper blue than H. hispanica (the variety being imported from Holland)
Hyacinthoides hispanica will hybridise with the native wild bluebell, and, its traits being dominant, will breed it out of existence.

If you DO happen to have the true-blue English bluebell, then (as explained in the article) beware the paler Hyacinthoides hispanica
I'd love to hear from our members on this topic.  Do you know of colonies of the true bluebell in your region?


Offline Palustris

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Re: The REAL English Bluebell
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 03:41:18 PM »
One thing to add is that the true bluebell is easy to transplant as long as the bulbs are dug fresh and not allowed to dry out. This is because their bulbous adaptation is in response to light levels and so they have never needed to develop a 'coat' to prevent desiccation. Narcissus and Tulips have become bulbous in response to drought so they have a 'coat'.
It is illegal to take bluebells from the wild without permission of the landowner.
We went for a walk around a Bluebell wood with supposedly native ones in it. The owners were very upset to have it pointed out that many of their precious plants were in fact hybrids. So, be careful what you plant.

Online ideasguy

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Re: The REAL English Bluebell
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2008, 07:24:54 PM »
More very useful information, thanks for that Eric.
Do you have bluebells in your garden?

Ive been a bit quiet recently, but I can assure you Ive been beavering away.
I'm working on the information sent to me by Chiltern Seeds. Over 4000 catalog items.
Ive written a series of small programs to import that plant names into the Master Database in Ideas Genie Pro format.
It can also be used by Flower Genie of course.
I'm down to the last 500, so nearly finished that exercise. The Catalog will be available for download very soon!

I was "on the trail" today checking up a catalog item 1154F,  seed for Scilla non-scripta.
http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/chilternseeds/211/moreinfo/d/scilla+non+scripta+true+wild+species/pid/31512773
Looking at the image on that page, I'd say it has a one-sided inflorescence.

First port of call is checking the name was against the RHS database. Not found.
More surfing, and I found that the bluebell revels in the name Hyacinthoides non-scripta. (To confuse matters more, a number of species in the genus Scilla are listed)

Now the question I'm asking - what exactly are those seeds?

 


Offline Palustris

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Re: The REAL English Bluebell
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2008, 08:03:47 PM »
We have avoided bluebells in that we have never seen them sharing a habitat with Snowdrops and we did not wish to damage our Snowdrop wood.
There has been a revision of the Genus Scilla recently and a lot of them have been moved to another genus. I grow some of the more specialist Turkish members and am waiting for them to finish messing about before relabelling them. Scillas have gone to Hyacinthella and all sorts of other names. Most annoying.

Online ideasguy

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Re: The REAL English Bluebell
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2008, 11:40:57 AM »
Yes, it certainly is annoying, especially when some of the names ar more or less houseold names.

I'm recalling that one of my first real appreciation of flowers was on my walk to primary school. We lived down a long lane, with this big hill. The banks had both wild primroses and bluebells growing in profusion. Perhaps they are good for naturaiilsing together?
The blue and yellow make a good colour combination. Ive a few promroses under my rowan tree, just outside our dinette window, in what I plant out as a spring garden. I'd like to try some of the REAL bluebells there.