T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebell)

Kingdom: Plantae 
Clade: Angiosperms 
Clade: Monocots 
Order: Asparagales 
Family: Asparagaceae 
Subfamily: Scilloideae 
Genus: Hyacinthoides 
Species: H. hispanica 
Binomial name:  Hyacinthoides hispanica 
Synonym: Endymion hispanicus, Scilla hispanica 
Common name: Spanish bluebell

Hyacinthoides hispanica is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial native to the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of around 11 species in the genus Hyacinthoides. It is distinguished from the common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) by having its paler flowers all the way round the central stem while the common bluebell flowers are on one side and tend to bow over at the top with the weight of its flowers. Hyacinthoides hispanica petals are less recurved and have blue anthers (where the common bluebell has creamy-white ones) and have little or no scent compared to the strong fragrant scent of the northern Hyacinthoides species. The leaves are also broader.

Where the Spanish bluebell has been introduced in the United Kingdom it has become an invasive species. The two species hybridise freely, and the resulting hybrid Hyacinthoides × massartiana. This hybrid and the Spanish bluebell both produce highly fertile seeds and can invade areas of the native common bluebell. The Spanish bluebell is also cultivated as a garden plant, and several named cultivars exist with flowers in various shades of white, pink and blue.

A spreading area of  Hyacinthoides hispanica at Burgess Park, New Plymouth
 

Photos below of some colour variations.