Searching for Bluebells

I imagine I am not the only one that is delighted to discover the abundance of native wildflowers that can be found in springtime. One of the UK’s favourite flowers are Bluebells and they can usually be found about this time through April and May.

Half of the world’s Bluebells are found in woodlands throughout the UK but, how many of you actually take the time or have a chance to see them each spring?

In Sutton you can usually find them in Ruffett and Big wood near Coulsdon.

If you would like to go further you can check out the map tool on the Woodland Trust website where you can search for woodlands with Bluebells throughout the UK!

http://visitwoods.org.uk/en/visit-woods/things-to-do/nature/Pages/bluebell-walks.aspx#.T2ybQNme12B

Unfortunately native Bluebells are facing the challenges of a changing natural landscape. The ancient woodlands where the Bluebells have survived for hundreds of years are threatened by habitat loss.

Native Bluebells are also threatened by the Spanish Bluebell which is often sold at greenhouses and planted in people’s gardens. The Spanish Bluebell crossbreeds with the native creating a hybrid that does not have the characteristics of the native bluebell. The native bluebell is deep-violet in color with a sweet smell while the Spanish Bluebell has large pale blue to pink flowers and hardly any smell.

While it can be hard to find native Bluebells to plant in your garden, you can tell the difference by checking the scientific name (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) of native bluebells.

So, on these lovely spring days try to get outdoors and enjoy the increasingly rare sight of these beautiful flowers native to our woodlands!

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