DavidHowdon's picture

Freak bells

Observed: 8th May 2010 By: DavidHowdon
Amateur Entomologists' SocietyLondon Natural History SocietySelborne Society
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An unusual bluebell - does this aberration have a name?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) interacts


Chris Metherell's picture


At first I though this might be a gall, however I have not been able to trace any record of galling occurring on H. non-scripta. En passant - how common is galling in monocots? Presumably some form of genetic mutation.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

dshubble's picture

Abnormal bluebells

I don't know of bluebell galls either - there are certainly galls on grasses etc, but they seem infrequent on other monocots (a few nematodes & smut fungi on onions & leeks, a single introduced cecid on cultivated orchids.)

Abnormalities also seem rare in bluebells, though not unknown e.g. there is mention of abnormal flower-spike development in 'Abnormalities of Plants' by Presland et al (Wiltshire Botanical Soc. 2009) and a 1958 paper from New Phytologist available at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119766077/PDFSTART

Interesting though,


DavidHowdon's picture

Odd bluebells

We do have several odd bluebells in Perivale Wood, although this is one of the more extreme.

Other odd forms noted include
1) White bluebells (these are pretty common)
2) Green bluebells (not to my knowledge recorded there since the 1990s)
3) Unopening bluebells i.e. flowers never open (recorded in the same spot since the 1960s)
4) Twisty bluebells i.e. twisted and distorted flowers (recorded in one location in 2008 and 2009 but I could not find them this year). An example is here http://ispot.org.uk/node/35409

David Howdon

Norwichnaturalist's picture

Not a Gall

I just think the flowering has been interrupted in some way. If it has mites it could be a gall but none are recorded in Redfern et al

Colin Jacobs.
Wild Flower Society member

DavidHowdon's picture

Variant name

I'm told that this is var. bracteata.

David Howdon