Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

The Common Bluebell will be a familiar wildflower to walkers and native nature lovers. It is most commonly found within woodlands and is an indicator of our ancient woodland ecosystems. The flower is best suited to the quiet and sheltered woodland environment and it makes most use of the sunlight that reaches the woodland floor in Spring before the trees come out in full leaf casting a heavier shade.

Photo credit: Paul Hunter

Bluebells are perennials which means that they come back every year. The majority of their time is spent in bulbs underground emerging to flower from April onwards reaching a height of 50cm. In one plant there can be up to 20 sweetly scented flowers to one side of a single stalk. Flowers are normally deep blue but on very rare occasions white and pink.

Photo credit: Paul Hunter 

One of the major risks to our bluebell population is the Spanish Bluebell which was introduced to gardens and is now spreading and threatening the native population. The Woodland Trust have a useful quiz to help us identify the subtle differences between our common bluebell and the Spanish one. 

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/2017/04/identify-bluebells-quiz/

Aaron Matchett's photo below showcases what a Spanish Bluebell is.

Photo credit: Aaron Matchett

Where to find it..

Some of us actually know Cregagh Glen as ‘Bluebell Glen’ and if you take a walk up there towards the end of spring you will understand why. Bluebells can also be found within the existing parkland in Orangefield.

Be Part of it...

Get yourself out there to see the phenomenal carpet of Bluebells within Cregagh Glen and at Orangefield. Remember the Common Bluebell can be identified by its:

-        Cream/white pollen.

-        Prominently drooping Stem

-        Narrow flowers with tips curled back.

-        And the beautiful smell.

Help your Greenway out by telling us if you identify any non natives and where!