Hybrid Bluebell - Hyacinthoides x massartiana

    Alternative names
    Hyacinthoides non-scripta x hispanica = H. x massartiana
    Description

    This cross between our native Bluebell and the introduced Spanish Bluebell has characteristics of both, and is much commoner than the Spanish bluebell, which is rare and over-recorded. It is very variable in the colour of anthers and shape of perianth (flower).

    Recently published research by the BSBI means it is likely that most (if not all) non-native bluebells are this hybrid, rather than H hispanica.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Intermediate between its two parents: wide leaves, anthers blue/whitish, raceme drooping/sub-erect at tip, and more or less one-sided, flowers more or less flared/bell-shaped, and sometimes with recurved petals.

    Recording advice

    Photo of the flowering plant in its habitat, plus closeup of flower and stamens (a side-on view of some flowers is helpful).  Plants that are near habitation and not growing in currently or previously wooded habitats are probably this or the Spanish bluebell, but it is also naturalised in woodlands. Photos in leaf or of seed-heads cannot be accepted.

    Habitat

    Hedgerow bottoms, ditches, roadside verges and woodland.

    When to see it

    Flowers April and May.

    Life History

    Perennial.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain and probably under recorded.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional but possibly under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves 2011) is is described as native, first recorded in 1995, but thought to be widespread and often confused with H hispanica

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map