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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Bluebells have appeared at Railway Fields and can be seen in different parts of the site.

Many of the bluebells are hybrid Spanish and Native, but if you look closely you can see native ones dotted about.

The surest way to tell is to look for the white/cream pollen inside the bell

If the pollen is blue, greenish or creamy blue, it's Spanish

Does this matter? Well, maybe, as Spanish bluebells are more vigorous and tend to outcompete the native variety. We can thank the Victorians, as usual, for introducing them as garden plants that inevitably went "went over the wall" - they were first noted in the wild in 1909 and have become naturalised. They aren't on the list of non-native plants that you are not permitted to allow to grow in the wild but many people are concerned about their dominance over the common bluebell. 

For many people though, the sight of any type of bluebell is another sure sign that we are heading for sunnier days and find them a tonic for the spirits. 

Tags for Forum Posts: bluebells, nature notes, railway fields, signs of spring

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For clarity, are all your pics of native Bluebells? i’ve been trying to puzzle this one out…

No they’re not, one in the middle shows white pollen. Some clearly show the blue pollen of the Spanish bluebell. You can also tell by the leaves and also how they hang from the stalk. Spanish tend to have opposing flowers whereas native hang in a line. The hybrids also tend to favour the Spanish but may have white pollen. There are even some that aren’t blue. So first check pollen and then the shape and leaves 

Thanks Liz for posting all this.  When I lived in Brussels, we often walked in a bluebell wood (near a place called Rouge Cloitre) and one year about 1995 I gathered many dried seed heads and shook out the little black seeds.  During a visit back home to Wightman Road, I scattered the seeds along a border and forgot all about them.  It evidently took several years for the seeds to decide they liked the area but they eventually emerged and survived competition from other plants.  We have now had well established bluebells for many years and I always thought they must be the Spanish variety - because they are so tall.  I am reassured by your remarks that I probably haven't committed the sin of importing forbidden plants.  In any event, we like them and although they have spread a bit, they are no where so bad as those three cornered leeks you kindly gave me!  Here are some pictures, one of which shows the stamens:

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