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Identifying native from non-native bluebells.

Its bluebell season, and here 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. The native English bluebell, and the non-native spanish bluebell. The native bluebell is a more delicate flower with petals that curl outwards, and the drooping flowers grow along one side of the stem. 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 bluebell is recognised by the broader leaves and upright stem which has flowers all around it, with green or blue pollen, and often flowers earlier than the English bluebell.

Bluebells are rare in other countries with the UK being home to nearly 50% of all of them! It is illegal to pick or dig up bluebells but if you wish to plant them, please make sure they are the English, native type as the Spanish version will out-compete or develop into a hybrid.

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