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Bluebells, native or non-native?

If you are lucky enough to see bluebells out on your local walks or even have them in your garden this is how to identify the native from the non-native.

There are 2 types of bluebell that can be found in our gardens and woodlands; our native English bluebell and the non-native spanish bluebell. Our native flower is more delicate the flower petals tend to curl outwards and grow on one side of the stem then droop over. The leaves are narrow and the pollen is cream in colour, but the most noticeable difference is the sweet aroma of the English bluebell which the Spanish version lacks. The non-native Spanish flower is recognised by the broader leaves, upright stem with flowers all round and the green or blue pollen. Bluebells are rare in other countries with the uk being home to nearly 50% of all bluebells. It is illegal to pick or dig up English bluebells but if you wish to plant them make sure they are native as the Spanish version will out-compete or become a hybrid. Both native and non-native can often be found in whites and pinks too.

Enjoy this beautiful time of year as the sea of purple woodland carpets are short lived.

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