The Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is a familiar sight in our woodlands and grassy banks during the spring. They grow from bulbs, with the leaves emerging shortly before the violet-blue scented flowers. They are an important plant and an indicator of ancient woodlands.

They are also known as auld mans bells, ring-o-bells and wood bells.

Medicinal uses of the bulb include diuretic and styptic properties, this is because the bulbs contain toxic substances, they were a popular source of glue for bookbinding.

The Spanish Bluebell is a threat to our native bluebell and is frequently planted in gardens and the two species will hybridize with each other.

Credit: Information and photo kindly supplied by Peter Dowse of Bollington, Cheshire