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Preserving English Bluebells

FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
This year a few lovely English Bluebells have come up at the bottom of my garden.  I was reading that they are under threat due to hybridising with the Spanish ones, is there anything I can do to encourage or support them besides pulling up the Spanish ones?  

Should I pull up a bulb or two after they've finished and put them in pots for safekeeping?  Can the seed be harvested?
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  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,452
    edited April 2021
    I've read about recent research that shows the risk of cross hybridising from Spanish BBs is overstated. You don't need to do much to help the native ones invading your garden, they're just as thuggish as the Spanish sort.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
    Oh good!
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,452
    edited April 2021
    British bluebells 'have advantage over Spanish bluebells' - BBC News

    I mean.. I'd pull up Spanish BBs anyway (tbh I'd also get rid of native ones unless I owned a patch of woodland)...
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,583
    We have inherited Spanish bluebells which we pull up before they can set seed.  Eventually they will weaken.   "English" bluebells are native here too and grow in the hedgerows and woods.  They also grow up the Atlantic coast, along the Channel and all the way into Belgium which has a couple of famous bluebell woods.

    I bought a pot a couple of years at a plant fair to start establishing them here in a new bed of Japanese acers.    Slow so far but still there.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SueAtooSueAtoo DorsetPosts: 237
    My english ones seeded enthusiastically everywhere in my previous garden. Here I have Spanish and I've given up digging them out as they go so deep.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,583
    Same here and they're mixed in a tiny bed round a well with all sorts of interesting plants like autumn daffodils, spring daffs, crocuses, pinks, sedums so we just pull up the leaves and flower stems and hope they'll eventually give up.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,302
    All bluebells are good ones in my book...I just make sure to deadhead them before they set seed. The neighbour's garden is covered in them this time of year. But at least my limited clump hasn't expanded in three years. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 805
    We have lots of bluebells and I gathered and scattered some seed around 10 years ago. I now have a lovely patch flourishing at the edge of the hedgerow
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
    Thanks all, I don't have a woodland as such but I do have a patch at the back of the garden where I am planting (mostly) native trees and trying to promote nicer looking weeds underneath, ideally with benefits for wildlife, so I was really chuffed to see the bluebells.  The Spanish ones are fine but I do think the native ones are prettier, and I like an underdog!
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,302
    Your garden your choice...but the hatred against the Spanish ones is absolutely ridiculous and really not based on anything concrete in the context of domestic scale gardening. I suppose in the age of nativism in politics it has crept a bit more in horticulture...a field you'd think would be immune being the most international of fields. But hey let's wave that flag and bow to the moron royals 🤣
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
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