|Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta,|
in woods at Wokingham, England
In Britain and in gardens here too, Hyacinthoides non-scripta has often hybridised with the Spanish bluebell, H. hispanica, which has larger flowers and appears to be a more vigorous plant. The hybrids have wider leaves, more flowers on a stalk, and pedicels longer than the flowers.
Drifts of bluebells in spring can take your breath away. A few weeks ago when I wrote that groundsel was probably the first weed I learned the name of, I certainly wasn't thinking of bluebell as a weed. My first plant memory is of bluebells in the woods near Stafford Castle. We'd gone for a family walk (I was probably 4 because we moved away from Stafford before I was 5, but it's possible I was 3). I remember there was a tree house, and great drifts of bluebells under the trees. There's a scene in the movie Ryan's Daughter, which reminded me of that sight (bluebells at 22 seconds into the trailer at the link).
|Bluebells and greater stitchwort, Wokingham|
|Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica or H. xmassartiana, Wellington Botanic Garden|
Bluebells are grown commonly enough in New Zealand gardens. Occasionally they can be found in the wild, perhaps establishing from bulbs discarded with garden waste by people who dump their garden rubbish at the roadside instead of at the tip (or better, composting it). I'm always pleased to see them (bluebells, that is), and regard them as a wildflower rather than a weed. I've seen quite a few patches this week.
|Wild bluebells, Hyacinthoides xmassartiana, Norway St steps, Kelburn, Wellington.|
|Bluebells, Hyacinthoides xmassartiana, Highbury, Wellington.|