A few things you wanted to know about bluebells but didn’t dare ask …

Don’t you just love the bluebell factsheet we put together for Arlington Bluebell Walk?

 

  • Most bluebells are found in ancient woodland where the rich habitat supports a whole host of species. Ancient woodland includes woods from the 17th century and some may even be remnants of the original wildwood that covered Britain after the last Ice Age.
  • The bluebell is a protected species in UK law.
  •  Cross-breeding between the English (native) and Spanish species of bluebell means you may spot flowers which combine traits from both.
  • Bluebells contain at least 15 biologically active compounds that may provide them with protection against insects and animals.
  • Certain extracts – water-soluble alkaloids – are similar to compounds tested for use in combating HIV and cancer.

The Blue Bell – Emily Bronte

First verse

“The blue bell is the sweetest flower

That waves in summer air;

Its blossoms have the mightiest power

To soothe my spirit’s care. “

Unusual bluebell facts

1. In the Bronze Age, people used bluebell glue to attach feathers to their arrows

2. The Victorians used the starch from crushed bluebells to stiffen the ruffs of their collars and sleeves

3. Bluebell sap was used to bind pages to the spines of books

4. Legend also says that a field of bluebells is intricately woven with fairy enchantments

5. Bees can ‘steal’ nectar from bluebells by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell, reaching the nectar without pollinating the flower.

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