Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

 

Collins, 278; Readers Digest, 381

This is a lovely welcoming plant that covers the woodland floors of most of our ancient and coppice woodland from April to June.  The flowers are a brilliant azure blue and more rarely white.  The flowers form elongated bells and give off a heady fragrance.  There is a danger to the native stock from the Spanish Bluebell which has been introduced by plant collectors and this plant is stouter with larger paler flowers.  The small white bulbs were used to make glue in mediaeval times and contain starch which was used as a stiffener in the ruffs worn in Elizabethan times.

Bluebells in Shrubs wood