Common name: English / Spanish Bluebell
There can be some confusion when comparing English hyacinthoides non-scripta, and Spanish hyacinthoides hispanica varieties.
The principle differences are as follows;
Spanish bluebells have unscented pale blue flowers on all sides of the stem, wider leaves and are stouter, taller, and more upright, plus it has blue anthers and the racemes stand erect.
English bluebells have slightly darker stems with fragrant flowers only on one side that slightly curve as they mature.
The unequal lengthed anthers are cream coloured and the racemes tend to nod!
The petals are unmarked hence the name non-scriptus.
Bluebells are useful plants for giving a woodland look to a shaded area.
They grow to around 300mm high and flowers from late April through till June.
Because the bulbs have no outer skin they should be planted out as soon as they become available to avoid drying out.
If storage conditions are too dry or too damp they can soon shrivel up or go mouldy.
Mixed varieties in Border
Feed established clumps as they come into flower and this will ensure the bulbs plump up for the following season.
Divide plants after flowering and replant offsets immediately.
Plant the larger bulbs in the border 50mm apart and 150mm deep.
Spread the smaller ones 25mm apart in shallow drills in a nursery bed to grow on to flowering size.
Plant out new stock in groups 50mm apart and 150mm deep in moist but not waterlogged soil with added peat or leaf-mould.
Established clumps can be divided now if not done previously.
Mulch the area to conserve moisture.