Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers sandy well-drained soils. Avoid unamended clay soils. Tolerates shady conditions. Perhaps best in sun-dappled part shade. Plant bulbs about 3-4” deep and 4-6” apart in the fall. Naturalizes well by both bulb offsets and self-seeding in optimum growing conditions. Plants go dormant by early summer. Plants of this species (Spanish bluebells) will hybridize with plants of Hyancinthoides non-scripta (English bluebells) if planted near each other, resulting in different forms appearing through self-seeding.
‘Excelsior’ may not come true from seed, so spent flower spikes should be promptly removed to prevent self-seeding.
Hyacinthoides hispanica, commonly called Spanish bluebell or wood hyacinth, is a bulbous perennial that is native to Spain, Portugal and northwest Africa. Each bulb produces a clump of 2-6 strap-shaped leaves from which rises a rigid flower stem typically containing up to 12-15 hanging, bell-shaped, bluish-lavender flowers held in an upright raceme. Flower stems rise to as much as 18” tall. Flowers typically bloom April to early May.
Species is synonymous with and formerly known as Scilla campanulata, Scilla hispanica and Endymion hispanicus.
Genus name means resembling hyacinth.
Specific epithet means Spanish.
‘Excelsior’ is a popular cultivar that is slightly taller than the species (to 22” tall) and features deep purple-blue flowers with paler blue petal striping.
No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves can become rather unsightly before they disappear.
Provides color and contrast to the woodland garden, border front, rock garden or wild/naturalized area. Particularly effective when naturalized in large drifts under deciduous trees or at the margins of shade/woodland gardens. May be grown in pots/containers, alone or in combination with other spring flowering bulbs.