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Hyacinthoides hispanica - Spanish Bluebell

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Asparagaceae

Spanish Bluebell

The Spanish Bluebell is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial native to Spain and Portugal; however, it has been introduced to many other countries, including Britain and Ireland. This alien species readily hybridises with Britain's native Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta, and the resulting hybrids Hyacinthoides x massartiana have invaded many 'bluebell woods'.

Hyacinthoides hispanica, Spanish Bluebell

Description

These perennial bulbous monocots produce mainly blue flowers, but pink and white forms also occur. The bells, which have blue anthers (Common Bluebells have white anthers) are shorter and less nodding than those of the Common Bluebell Hyancinthoides non-scripta, and the leaves are somewhat broader, but in general the two plants are quite similar.

Closeup of Bluebell flowers

Habitat

Most often seen in wooded areas.

Blooming times

In Spain and Portugal Spanish Bluebells can be seen in bloom from late February until early April.

Distribution

Spanish Bluebells are native to the Iberian Peninsula, but as introductions they can be found throughout Britain and Ireland; these bluebells also occur as introduced species across most of Western Europe.

The Spanish Bluebell flowers shown on this page were photographed in the Algarve region of southern Portugal.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Rob Petley-Jones.


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