Hyacinthoides hispanica – Spanish Bluebell
This is a classic woodland bulb, growing to about 40cm, putting up strap-like leaves and flowering before the tree canopy has come into leaf. Their leaves die down in mid-summer. They produce offsets to their bulbs, so they clump up nicely. They also produce viable seed, which can make them invasive in some situations.
H. hispanica comes from the Iberian peninsular. I have gone with Hyacinthoides hispanica as the name for the Bluebells in my garden. Whilst I am confident these are not the native British Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), these two species do hybridise routinely and I cannot be sure that what I have is not a hybrid. I think the bright blue stems to the anthers are diagnostic but I am not certain.
Soil / Aspect:
H. hispanica prefers humus rich soil in dappled shade. However, this is a robust plant. It seems perfectly happy in the clay of Karin’s Garden. I have not tried it in full sun and feel that would be unkind to what is a quintessential woodland plant.
Once planted there really is nothing more to do. The leaves can become somewhat unsightly as they die down. So it works well to have something to grow over them as the season develops; Plectranthus cilliatus in my garden.