Hyacinthoides non-scripta

white form
Common Name: English bluebell 
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Western Europe
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Deep violet blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Black Walnut

Culture

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 (English bluebells) will hybridize with plants of Hyancinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebells) if planted near each other, resulting in different forms appearing through self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hyacinthoides non-scripta, commonly called English bluebell, is a bulbous perennial that is native to open woodland areas of western Europe including, of course, England. Each bulb produces a small clump of linear, strap-shaped, acute-tipped, basal leaves (3-6 per bulb) from which rises in spring (April-May) a 12-15" tall rigid flower stem topped by an arching terminal, one-sided raceme of 4-16 fragrant, pendant, narrow-tubular, bell-shaped, deep violet blue flowers (each to 3/4" long). Each flower has six petals fused together to form a narrow almost straight-sided bell with slightly rolled back petal tips. English bluebell is very similar to Spanish bluebell except English bluebell has fragrant flowers, arching flowering racemes, and shorter flowering stems.

Species is synonymous with and formerly known as Scilla campanulata, Scilla hispanica and Endymion hispanicus.

Genus name means resembling hyacinth.

Specific epithet means without markings.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves can become rather unsightly before they disappear.

Garden Uses

Particularly effective when naturalized in large drifts under deciduous trees or at the margins of shade/woodland gardens. Provides color and contrast to woodland gardens, wild/naturalized areas or rock gardens. May be grown in pots/containers, alone or in combination with other spring flowering bulbs.