Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' is a bulbous perennial plant, found in Atlantic areas from north-western Spain to the British Isles, and also frequently used as a garden plant. It is known in English as the common bluebell or simply bluebell, a name which is used in Scotland to refer to the harebell, ''Campanula rotundifolia''. In spring, ''H. non-scripta'' produces a nodding, one-sided inflorescence of 5–12 tubular, sweet-scented violet–blue flowers, with strongly recurved tepals, and 3–6 long, linear, basal leaves.

''H. non-scripta'' is particularly associated with ancient woodland where it may dominate the understorey to produce carpets of violet–blue flowers in "bluebell woods", but also occurs in more open habitats in western regions. It is protected under UK law, and in some other parts of its range. A related species, ''H. hispanica'' has also been introduced to the British Isles and hybridises with ''H. non-scripta'' to produce intermediates known as ''H.'' × ''massartiana''.
The common bluebell - Hyacinthoides non-scripta An impressive tree stands amongst the bluebells in a wood. Belgium,Bluebells,Common bluebell or English bluebell,Forest,Geotagged,Hallerbos,Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Appearance

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb. It produces 3–6 linear leaves, all growing from the base of the plant, and each 7–16 millimetres wide. An inflorescence of 5–12 flowers is borne on a stem up to 500 mm tall, which droops towards the tip; the flowers are arranged in a 1-sided nodding raceme. Each flower is 14–20 mm long, with two bracts at the base, and the six tepals are strongly recurved at their tips. The tepals are violet–blue. The three stamens in the outer whorl are fused to the perianth for more than 75% of their length, and bear cream-coloured pollen. The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented. The seeds are black, and germinate on the soil surface.

The bulbs produce contractile roots; when these roots contract, they draw the bulbs down into deeper layers of the soil where there is greater moisture, reaching depths of 10–12 cm . This may explain the absence of ''H. non-scripta'' from thin soils over chalk in South East England, since the bulbs are unable to penetrate into sufficiently deep soils.

''H. non-scripta'' differs from ''H. hispanica'', which occurs as an introduced species in the British Isles, in a number of ways. ''H. hispanica'' has paler flowers which are borne in radially symmetrical racemes; their tepals are less recurved, and are only faintly scented. The outer stamens are fused with the tepals for less than 75% of their length, and the anthers are the same colour as the tepals. These two species are thought to have diverged 8000 years ago. The two species also hybridise readily to produce fertile offspring known as ''Hyacinthoides'' × ''massartiana''; the hybrids are intermediate between the parental species, forming a spectrum of variation which connects the two.
bluebells  Geotagged,Hyacinthoides non-scripta,Spring,United Kingdom

Naming

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' forms a clade with three other species – ''H. hispanica'', ''H. paivae'' and ''H. cedretorum'' – centred on the Iberian Peninsula. ''H. paivae'' is restricted to a small area of north-western Iberia , while ''H. cedretorum'' is found in mountainous areas of western North Africa . Within Iberia, ''H. non-scripta'' and ''H. hispanica'' are geographically separated by the Duero river. The genus also contains seven further species, mostly distributed further east in the Mediterranean Basin.
The common bluebell - Hyacinthoides non-scripta A path through a bluebell wood. Belgium,Bluebells,Common bluebell or English bluebell,Forest,Geotagged,Hallerbos,Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Distribution

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' is native to the western parts of Atlantic Europe, from north-western Spain to the Netherlands and the British Isles. It is found in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, and also occurs as a naturalized species in Germany, Italy, and Romania. It has also been introduced to parts of North America, in both the Pacific Northwest and the north-eastern United States .

Despite the wide distribution of ''H. non-scripta'', it reaches its greatest densities in the British Isles, where "bluebell woods" are a familiar sight. ''H. non-scripta'' is found throughout the British Isles, with the exception of the northern Outer Hebrides , Orkney and Shetland, and it is estimated that 25%–50% of all common bluebells may be found in the British Isles.

Bluebells are a species of deciduous woodland over much of their range, flowering and leafing early before the canopy closes in late spring. They may also be found growing under bracken or Japanese knotweed, perennial plants which also form stands with a dense summer canopy. They are most successful on slightly acid soils; the same niche in alkaline conditions may be occupied by other species such as ''Mercurialis perennis''. As a species adapted to woodlands, the young shoots are able to penetrate through a thick layer of leaf litter, and bluebells are often used as an indicator species to identify ancient woodland. Bluebells are also frequently found in hedgerows, and in the west of their range they can be found growing in open habitats, including coastal meadows. Bluebell flowers are rich in pollen and nectar, and are chiefly pollinated by bumblebees, although they are also visited by various other insects. They are a host species for the parasitic fungus ''Uromyces muscari'', which causes bluebell rust. The ability of ''H. non-scripta'' to take up phosphorus from the soil is greatly enhanced by the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizae in its roots.
A Bluebell? On Cortes Island we are not fortunate enough to have the lovely fields of Bluebells. But... they are locally common but not in great numbers. The variation in colours from blue, pink to white and anything in between are always interesting to see. Canada,Geotagged,Hyacinthoides non-scripta,Spring

Status

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' is not protected under international law, such as CITES or the EU Habitats Directive.

In the United Kingdom, ''H. non-scripta'' is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence, punishable by fines of up to £5000 per bulb. The species is not protected in the Republic of Ireland.

In France, ''H. non-scripta'' is largely confined to the northern half of the country. It is not legally protected at the national level, but it is protected in many of the ' towards the edge of its range . In Wallonia, ''H. non-scripta'' is protected under ' of the '.
Bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta Common bluebell or English bluebell,Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Habitat

''Hyacinthoides non-scripta'' is native to the western parts of Atlantic Europe, from north-western Spain to the Netherlands and the British Isles. It is found in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, and also occurs as a naturalized species in Germany, Italy, and Romania. It has also been introduced to parts of North America, in both the Pacific Northwest and the north-eastern United States .

Despite the wide distribution of ''H. non-scripta'', it reaches its greatest densities in the British Isles, where "bluebell woods" are a familiar sight. ''H. non-scripta'' is found throughout the British Isles, with the exception of the northern Outer Hebrides , Orkney and Shetland, and it is estimated that 25%–50% of all common bluebells may be found in the British Isles.

Bluebells are a species of deciduous woodland over much of their range, flowering and leafing early before the canopy closes in late spring. They may also be found growing under bracken or Japanese knotweed, perennial plants which also form stands with a dense summer canopy. They are most successful on slightly acid soils; the same niche in alkaline conditions may be occupied by other species such as ''Mercurialis perennis''. As a species adapted to woodlands, the young shoots are able to penetrate through a thick layer of leaf litter, and bluebells are often used as an indicator species to identify ancient woodland. Bluebells are also frequently found in hedgerows, and in the west of their range they can be found growing in open habitats, including coastal meadows. Bluebell flowers are rich in pollen and nectar, and are chiefly pollinated by bumblebees, although they are also visited by various other insects. They are a host species for the parasitic fungus ''Uromyces muscari'', which causes bluebell rust. The ability of ''H. non-scripta'' to take up phosphorus from the soil is greatly enhanced by the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizae in its roots.
English bluebells showing pink variation Close-up of pink bluebells.  Sorry the picture has turned itself round. Found during a walk in Fairhaven Gardens Norwich    Common bluebell or English bluebell,Hyacinthoides non-scripta,Spring,gardens,woods

Uses

Bluebells are widely planted as garden plants, either among trees or in herbaceous borders. They flower at the same time as hyacinths, ''Narcissus'' and some tulips. Their ability to reproduce vegetatively using runners, however, means that they can spread rapidly, and may need to be controlled as weeds.

Bluebells synthesise a wide range of chemicals with potential medicinal properties. They contain at least 15 biologically active compounds that may provide them with protection against insects and animals. Certain extracts – water-soluble alkaloids – are similar to compounds tested for use in combating HIV and cancer. The bulbs of bluebells are used in folk medicine as a remedy for leucorrhoea, and as a diuretic or styptic, while the sap can be used as an adhesive.

The bluebell may be regarded as the United Kingdom's "favourite flower". When the wild plant charity Plantlife organised a survey in 2004 to find a favourite flower for each county in the United Kingdom, it decided to ban voters from choosing the bluebell because it had been by far the top choice in an earlier poll for the nation's favourite flower. A stylised bluebell is used as the logo for the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassMonocots
OrderAsparagales
FamilyAsparagaceae
GenusHyacinthoides
SpeciesH. non-scripta