6 things you might not know about bluebells

Woodland bluebells

The National Trust is one of the most important organisations in the UK for bluebell conservation. A quarter of the Trust's woodland is ancient or semi-natural; the ideal habitats for bluebells. Here are six facts you may not know about them:

  1. The bluebell has many names: English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
  2. It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells
  3. If you plant bluebells, you should make sure it's the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. This is a more vigorous plant and could out-compete our delicate native flower
  4. Almost half the world's bluebells are found in the UK, they’re relatively rare in the rest of the world
  5. Bluebell colonies take a long time to establish - around 5-7 years from seed to flower.
  6. Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise. 
Bluebells at Box Hill
bluebells growing in woods
Bluebells at Box Hill