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A picture of a English Bluebell

English Bluebell

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Also known as

Bluebell, Harebell, Wood-Hyacinth, Squill, Native Bluebell

Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell) by MichaelMaggs (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size







  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of English Bluebell

Common bluebell
A photo of English Bluebell
A photo of English Bluebell
A photo of English Bluebell

English Bluebell Overview

Hyacinthoides non-scripta is a spring-flowering deciduous bulbous perennial species that produces violet-blue, beautiful arching flowers and it is found throughout western Europe. Commonly known by the names Bluebell or English Bluebell it is known for inhabiting ancient woodlands, forming large carpets of flowers often referred to as bluebell woods throughout the British isles. Careful not to confuse this plant with the related Spanish Bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica. You can easily tell the difference between these plants by looking at the flowers. English Bluebell flowers tend to be produced on one side whereas Spanish bluebell flowers appear facing all directions. The English Bluebell has become a common sight among cottage gardens, wild meadows and woodland plantings. With their broad light tolerance and ability to multiply quickly they have become a favoured bulb bringing swathes of colour to gardens towards the end of spring. This plant is occasionally listed under the synonym names of Endymion nonscriptus, Endymion nutans, Scilla non-scripta or Scilla nutans.

Common problems with English Bluebell

Generally pest and disease free, although a host for the parasitic fungus Uromyces muscari which can cause bluebell rust.

How to harvest English Bluebell

Seed can be harvested from dry flower heads in mid to late summer and ready to germinate the following Autumn.

How to propagate English Bluebell


Seed can be collected when ripe in late summer and can be sown that Autumn on the soil surface, keeping moist.


You should divide in late summer when clumps become crowded.


Plant bulbs in autumn - 8cm (3") deep. To create a naturalistic appearance the bulbs are often scattered prior to planting.

Special features of English Bluebell

Attractive flowers

Famously known for forming large, dramatic carpets of violet-blue flowers.

Attracts useful insects

Rich in pollen and nectar, this sweet smelling flower attracts bees, insects and butterflies.

Other uses of English Bluebell

Grown for its flowers.

Clay | Soil Specific

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