John Pilkington's picture

Hybrid Bluebell

Observed: 1st June 2013 By: John PilkingtonJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in PlantsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in Plants
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Description:

One clump found adjacent to stone wall in grounds of Craig y Nos Castle

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica x non-scripta) interacts

Comments

chrisbrooks's picture

Hybrid Bluebell

Not Spanish.

John Pilkington's picture

Hybrid

Thanks for feedback Chris, would be grateful for a pointer as to what guided your observation - John

chrisbrooks's picture

Spanish Bluebell

I believe that the term Spanish Bluebell is applied wrongly, they apparently look quite different. The British stock is made up of our own English Bluebells and Hybrids. I'm sure an expert will add more details.

John Pilkington's picture

Spanish Bluebell

Many thanks Chris; you are probably right; will see what other feedback is presented. John

Chris Metherell's picture

Bluebells

Bluebells are easy to tell apart if one looks at the detail. The classic English Bluebell, H. non-scripta, has the tip of the flowering spike slightly drooping over and the flowers all on one side of the spike. The sides of the flower tube are parallel for most of it’s length with the tips strongly reflexed (ie turned back on themselves) with cream anthers. The leaves are narrow (7-15mm).

The Spanish Bluebell, H. hispanica has a flower spike which points straight up with the flowers all round it. The flowers are bell-shaped, becoming saucer shaped with age, with absolutely no curving of the tips, anthers are the same colour as the flower (which may be variable). Leaves broad (10-35mm).

The hybrid, H. x massartiana has the general spike shape and flowers are bell shaped, but with tips curved back to some degree, not as much as in H. hon-scripta. Anthers normally blue, but sometimes cream (no help there then). Leaves broad (10-30mm). It is very fertile so back-crossing is common, giving a wide array of variation from the two extremes of the species.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

John Pilkington's picture

Hybrid

Chris - many thanks for your comprehensive explanation - should have taken Chris's hint and changed the ID myself :-) John