Bluebell Woods

Bluebells or wild hyacinths Endymion non-scriptus are wild flowers that grow in woods, hedges and shady places. During April and May one of the delights of England is the sea of blue that carpets many English woods. In the spring the bluebells’ bright green leaves break though the earth and form a rosette on the ground. From the centre grows a single flower stalk with pale unopened buds and a drooping top. When the flowers open they are a vibrant azure blue with a pure fragrance.  After flowering the foliage dies back but the bulb remains underground to flower again the following spring.

Location of bluebell woods

Bluebell woods are found all over Britain.  In west London one of the best places to see a wonderful display is at Perivale Wood, a nature reserve owned and managed by the Selborne Society. https://selbornesociety.org.uk/  The members of the society follow in the steps of Gilbert White an 18th century cleric widely considered to be the father of modern ecology. https://gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk/

Importance of bluebell woods

Woodlands are complex ecosystems in which every plant, insect, organism, bird and tree plays an important role. An early indicator of the health of a wood is the emergence of the sea of bluebells in the spring. As the leaves of the trees are still unfurling the sunlight bursts through the canopy and directly hits the forest floor providing warmth and energy. The seeds and bulbs of woodland plants germinate and burst into life giving food and nourishment for woodland creatures. A new year of growth has begun.

Humans also benefit from the therapy of a walk through a bluebell wood. Spirits are raised and souls cheered by the intense experience of seeing and  smelling the bluebell show.

This spring seek out a bluebell wood near you. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/bluebells-in-london-and-the-south-east