English Bluebells: Racemes Of Fragrant Blue Flowers

English Bluebells: Racemes Of Fragrant Blue Flowers

English Bluebells

Photo Compliments Of Dominic Alves

Hyacinthoides non-scripta, you’ll hear it called English bluebells, is a bulbous perennial that is native to open woodland areas.  Each bulb produces a small clump of linear, strap-shaped, acute-tipped, basal leaves (3 to 6 leaves per bulb) from which rises in spring (April to May) a 12 to 15 inch tall rigid flower stem topped by an arching terminal, one-sided raceme of 4 to 16 fragrant, pendant, narrow-tubular, bell-shaped, deep violet blue flowers (about 3/4 inch in length). Each flower has six petals fused together to form a narrow almost straight-sided bell with slightly rolled back petal tips.

English bluebell is very similar to Spanish bluebell except English bluebell has fragrant flowers, arching flowering racemes, and shorter flowering stems.

How To Make Your English Bluebell Thrive

This plant is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil (the preference is sandy well-drained soils) in full sun to part shade.  It will tolerate shady conditions, but best results are in sun-dappled part shade.  You should avoid unamended clay soils.

Bulbs should be planted about 3 to 4 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in the fall. This plant naturalizes well by both bulb offsets and self-seeding in optimum growing conditions. Plants go dormant by early summer. Plants of this species (English bluebells) will hybridize with plants of Hyancinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebells) if planted near each other.  You will get different forms appearing through self-seeding.

General English Bluebells Information

Diseases And Pests

There are no serious insect or disease problems. Leaves can become unsightly before they disappear.


This plant naturalizes well by both bulb offsets and self-seeding in optimum growing conditions.

Garden Uses

English Bluebells provides color and contrast to your woodland garden, wild naturalized areas, or in your rock gardens.  It can easily be grown in containers, it is wonderful alone, or in combination with other spring flowering bulbs.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Common Name: English bluebell
  • Type: Bulb
  • Plant Category: Perennial
  • Flower Characteristics: Fragrant, pendent, showy
  • Flower Color: Blues
  • Flowering period: Mid spring-late spring, early summer
  • Foliage Characteristics: Medium leaves
  • Foliage Color: Dark green
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 4 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: Light Shade, Dappled Light
  • Soil: Moist, well drained
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance, poisonous, spreading
  • Soil Range: Sandy loam to clay loam
  • Water Range: Normal
  • Tolerates: Heavy shade, black walnuts

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Google – Hyacinthoides non-scripta, Bluebells Photos

Google – Hyacinthoides non-scripta, Bluebells Photos

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  1. It is to be a nice weekend here and I am looking forward to work on my very modest garden. I love bluebells and do enjoy reading your gardening posts.
    Amy recently posted..When Nature gives you a Pattern, Wear ItMy Profile

    • It will be a busy weekend. I will run (actually walk) in a 5K race on Saturday, Sunday there is a class at the recycle store for building materials on how to use repurposed materials to make art, and I can’t let the weekend go without spending time in the garden. I believe if I have a soul it resides in my garden. Hopefully you have a wonderful weekend planed and you will share it with those who are closest to you.

  2. I’m going to have to look around and see if these are available here. I love the color.

  3. Oh, such a lovely sight!

  4. I loved the video! You have given me another flower for my wish list.
    debsgarden recently posted..For the BirdsMy Profile

  5. I love how easy these are to grow and to divide once the foliage dies back. Thank you, Charlie, for the warning about their invasive tendency.

    Blessings ~ Wendy
    Wendy recently posted..The Woman in WhiteMy Profile

  6. My front lawn in MA. was very shaded, so I opted for no grass. Instead, I planted a variety of flowers and bluebells featured prominently.
    such a great color!!!

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