Plants to look for in April — Bluebell


Where to look

Generally in shady places such as woodland,hedgerows and grassland, but can also be found in more open habitats in the damper west of the country.


Around half the world’s population of bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) grow in the UK! They are mainly found in ancient woodland because they prefer moist and shady conditions. However, because it gets very shady there once all the leaves are out, bluebells need to flower early in the spring while there is still enough light on the woodland floor. It is also important they aren’t disturbed by a changing habitat because it can take at least five years for their seed to grow into a bulb! They are protected and you can be fined if you dig up and/or sell a wild bluebell. 

Many bluebells found in towns are not the native wild type but are ‘Spanish Bluebells’. They are pretty but are a problem for our native ones. The introduced Spanish bluebell readily interbreed (hybridises) with our wild one to create a third species, the Hybrid bluebell (Hyacinthoides massartiana). This can affect the ability of the plant to survive. Also the Spanish bluebell competes with the native bluebells for light and space, and it is feared that they may be a better competitor and squeeze out the native species. The easiest way to tell the difference between native and non-native bluebells is to look at the colour of the pollen. The native species has creamy-white pollen while any other colour such as pale green or blue means it's non-native. The native flower stem droops or nods distinctly to one side whereas the non-native’s stem is stiff and upright. Native flowers have a strong, sweet scent whereas non-native are almost odourless. Bluebells are poisonous and contain about 15 biologically active compounds to defend themselves from animals and insect pests.

For more info see

Where we've found Bluebells

Bluebell spottings journal (32 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
17 Apr 2021 Stonehouse Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
16 Apr 2021 Stonehouse Tamsin Blended
24 May 2020 Harebushes Wood Finley Ireland Class Found on our walk
20 May 2020 Standish Woods Mrs A Year 2 CPS
11 May 2020 cam stacey Wild group Blue Bluebells when I walk through the woods
3 May 2020 Dursley chloe Wild group beautiful blue bells as I walked through the woods
30 Apr 2020 Out and about Trinity Native bluebells in Cranwoods, Workmans woods, Penn woods. Spanish bluebells in garden
30 Apr 2020 Portskewett Hadley St John's on-the-Hill I found bluebells in my forest they are everywhere and really cool.
30 Apr 2020 Tintern Katie St John's on-the-Hill There are bluebells EVERYWHERE in the woods.
30 Apr 2020 Salisbury Miliana St John's on-the-Hill I found bluebells in the forest whilst out for my walk.
30 Apr 2020 St Briavels Alex St John's on-the-Hill Bluebells spotted under the trees.
30 Apr 2020 Undy Maisie-Jane St John's on-the-Hill I saw bluebells under the trees in the wood.
30 Apr 2020 Tidenham Lexi St John's on-the-Hill There are bluebells along the Offa's Dyke path.
30 Apr 2020 Lydney Ava St John's on-the-Hill We found bluebells in Lydney.
30 Apr 2020 Lydney Isabelle. St John's on-the-Hill We spotted bluebells and there are deer in the distance.
29 Apr 2020 SN10 Pops Cooks&Co Lay Wood , Bishop's Cannings
28 Apr 2020 Daniel and Mrs S St John's on-the-Hill Found on a wet walk. Drifts of the are starting to appear in the Forest of Dean.
27 Apr 2020 Hedgerow Amélie Cooks&Co
27 Apr 2020 Camborne Sarah Camborne
23 Apr 2020 Lost in the Wild
23 Apr 2020 Randwick Carol ClH
23 Apr 2020 Barbie ClH Just appeared in my garden
23 Apr 2020 Westrip,Stroud Carol ClH
22 Apr 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
14 Apr 2020 Edie Layfield Leafgatherers I saw some bluebells today
14 Apr 2020 The Heavens Stroud Valley Community School
11 Apr 2020 Workman woods Xavier MogsHouse
7 Apr 2020 Woodland @ Capel's Mill Jo The Weaver's
5 Apr 2020 GL5 1PL Sue Woodside
2 Apr 2020 Polzeath Gavin Blended Spotted in Polzeath.
2 Apr 2020 Polzeath Daisy Blended Spotted this bluebell in the hedge near my house.
27 Mar 2020 common ella The Weaver's


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