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best way to identify native blue and white bells


Hi all! Does anyone know the best way to identify native blue and white bells? or how to tell the difference between native ones and spanish ones? We have some in our garden that have been around for 20+ years. We live next to the woods where alot of blue bells grow also. Any help would be appreciated. Also please ignore the mess of the garden we are in the process of giving it a makeover.



  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,444

    Thanks for the link, madpenguin. Here it is again, clickable:


    I really do not understand your problem. If you have bluebells in your garden (presumably Spanish ones) and wild bluebells in the woods next door, it should be easy enough for you to pick some and make a side-by-side comparison, wouldn't it? Please make photos of both the garden and the woods specimens, at close-up and post them here.image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,855

    Those in your garden are Spanish, much bigger, thick scrappy leaves and English ones don't come in tall white colours.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • a1154a1154 Sunny South Scotland Posts: 944

    I thought spanish bells had to go into a waste bin, but this months magazine says you can take them to council tip/use green garden waste bin, as their high composting temperatures definitely kill them.  Good to know. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,555

    I agree with Lyn.  All those in your garden look Spanish and need to be taken out before they cross pollinate with the native wild ones - assuming they are - in the woods.

    Good luck with the garden renovation.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,361

    It would be nice if there were only pure English bluebells, but it's not going to happen is it? The Spanish and the hybrids have been here for years. They were well established here when we arrived 25 years ago. They were planted in a new area of trees along the road. Huge numbers of people don't know the difference. Others don't care. There's no way I could get rid of mine from all the odd corners and I'm sure I'm not the only one in that position. Though I suppose I could spray them with something nasty, kill the surrounding plants and maybe do damage to bees while I'm about it.

    If Sarah's are Spanish any natives next door are already hybridised after 20 years.

    Its's as useless as killing a few Harlequin Ladybirds.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,555

    That is one argument but if the native is to survive the Spanish need to be reduced in numbers and vigour and every little helps - bit like saving red squirrels whoa re now starting to make a come back in some areas, albeit small so far..

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,361

    But they're still Red Squirrels Obelixx, the genes aren't all mixed up. I' m not saying I think it's OK, just that it's years too late to do anything.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,436

    I'd make gyphosating them mandatory. Can you still actually buy them?

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