We are very lucky to have a wonderful display of bluebells each year at Escot, enjoyed by walkers and other visitors to the Estate. Black Aller Woods is always filled with the colour and fragrance of this pretty wildflower, and this year there seem to be more than ever!
The scent of bluebells is sweet and is especially apparent on warm days – luckily we’re having some lovely weather right now, while the flowers are still in bloom.
While bluebells are fairly common in the UK, they’re not common all over the world. Around 50 percent of the bluebells grow here.
Do’s and Don’ts
Please don’t help yourself to bluebells, it’s against the law to pick them or uproot them. Similarly, it’s illegal to deliberately destroy bluebells.
Keep to the path and don’t be tempted to walk through the bluebells. They can be severely damaged when the leaves are crushed as the plant can’t photosynthesise efficiently and may die. It can take up to seven years for bluebell seeds to develop into flowers, so it could be a long time before flowers you’ve walked on are replaced.
The bluebells at Escot are the native variety, distinctive with their deep blue colour, narrow bells and petals which curl back at the ends. The invasive Spanish bluebells you might see around are cone-shaped with petals that seem to flare. Both also come in white and pink. One major difference is that Spanish bluebells have a very faint fragrance, or none at all. More and more you’ll see hybrid bluebells where the two have mixed. This threatens the native bluebell, but it’s a difficult trend to stop!
There’s an obvious reason why bluebells are so named! But they’ve also been known as wood hyacinth, witches thimbles and cuckoo’s boot.
Our bluebells are not just a treat for the eyes and nose, but also a haven for wildlife. The vibrant carpets of flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, performing their vital role in the ecosystem.
They’ve even created a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs, as you’ll discover in our Spring Weddings blog.