BLANKETS OF BLUEBELLS!
Blankets of bluebells are bursting into bloom in woodlands across the UK, including our very own Bank Wood, near our Midgley centre.
Now is the time to take a woodland walk and wonder at this marvellous display of colour! But please tread carefully…
Here are ten things you may not know about bluebells.
Once damaged or disturbed, the bluebell can take a long time to recover, if the leaves are damaged in any way, the plant then dies as it is no longer able to photosynthesise.
A Rare Treat
Nearly 50% of the whole world’s bluebells are found in the United Kingdom, this wonderful wildflower is actually considered rare elsewhere in the world.
It is actually illegal to pick, uproot or destroy any bluebells. Bluebells are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, if you were to dig up and sell a wild bluebell, you could face a hefty fine!
Bluebells contain 15 biologically active compounds, they are poisonous to deter animal and insect pests. Scientists are currently researching possible medical treatments using the bluebell’s toxic chemicals, one day bluebells could be used to treat cancer!
A Bluebell By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet
The bluebell has many different aliases – English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles. We still prefer bluebell!
Ever wondered what causes some bluebells to be more like whitebells? This particular variation appears when there is a lack of blue pigment in the plant. This breed has been named an albino bluebell!
Come On England
When planting your own bluebells, be sure that you are planting the English bluebell. The Spanish strain is a much more energetic plant and could out-grow our native wildflower.
It takes around 5 years for a bluebell to blossom from seed to flower.
It is believed that in the Bronze Age, bluebell glue or sap was used to attach the feathers to arrows which allowed for accuracy and stability.
The nectar that bluebells produce is extremely sought after, especially among bees. These cunning creatures have found a clever hack for collecting the nectar, by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell they get the goods in half the time. Great for the bees, not so good for our precious bluebells!
Posted by Earnshaws on 24-Apr-2019