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Last spring, my mother-in-law gave me four bluebell plants after flowering which she asserted were English bluebells. I put them in along with 50 or so English bluebells bulbs I bought.
They have now flowered and I can see they're either Spanish or hybrids with Spanish characteristics. I pulled them out, but now looking around other gardens in our village there are more Spanish/hybrids than anything else. My back garden is a combination of walled and fenced. Am I fighting a losing battle here? Are they likely to get hybridised anyway?
I think hybridisation is inevitable in the planting situation you describe. You are now growing eurobells.
Yes, I think figrat is right. And hey, even eurobells are a beautiful sight - don't learn to hate them, they have their own charm!
But to keep your bluebell patch as pure as possible for as long as possible, next year keep an eye out for the spanish-looking leaves coming up and pull out their flowering spikes before they flower?
I have my english bluebells in a pot to keep them separate from the spanish ones & they're very happy in there
Rosie - I know how to tell the difference based on the flowers, but not the leaves, what's the difference?
These links will help.
Look at the colour of the pollen...Quote...
The easiest way to tell the difference between native and non-native bluebells is to look at the colour of the pollen.
If it is creamy-white then the bluebell is a native. If it is any other colour, such as pale green or blue, then it is definitely not native.
When the pollen is shed, the empty anther can be a pale cream colour, so make sure you look at the most recently opened flowers at the top of the spike, to find the true colour of the pollen."
There are 3 "bluebells" now in cultivation.
1. Hyacinthoides non scripta. The true English wild bluebell.
2. Hyacinthoides hispanica. The Spanish bluebell....
3. Hyacinthoides x massartiana. This is a hybrid between the 2 others.
I'm really glad I found this thread, as one of the gardens up the road has the white spanish bluebells, and it's really pretty growing in with some muscari. I was wondering if you could get white bluebells, now I know what they are, I can think about getting some bulbs in the autumn. No bluebells at all in my garden, so no chance at all of hybridising.
Anyone know if they are naturalising? Won't have muscari as they are buggers for popping up all over the place where you don't want them.
Hi MMP, I read somewhere that pink and white bluebells are always Spanish or hybrids. English ones only come in blue. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were asking!