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Bluebell Bulbs

Useful Info And History For The Home Gardener



In Turkey, more precisely the region of Anatolia, these beautifully blooming plants are heralds of spring, as every year they make their appearance once the snow has started to melt. That is why they are popularly referred to as Glory of the Snow, as an alternative name. They cover the ground with bright blue corollas and flower before Britain’s native Bluebell. They grow well in the shade and, much like Bluebells, make a picturesque feature when planted under trees.

Glory of the Snow - Chionodoxa forbesii

Origin: Anatolia, Turkey

Flowering: March, April

With star shaped blooms of a soothing mauve blue contrasting with a white centre, this species is quite popular with British growers and often encountered in gardens across the country. Sometimes it can even be seen flowering in a think layer of snow. It should be grown in a well-drained soil, preferably in full sun, although it can handle dapple shade as well.

Lesser Glory of the Snow - Chionodoxa sardensis

Origin: Asia Minor

Flowering: March

Greatly resembling Chionodoxa forbesii, aside from the size of the blossoms’ white centre, which is considerable smaller, this species has also adapted very well to Britain’s natural conditions and thrives in gardens all over the country. It flowers at the same time as the above-mentioned species and is equally appreciated.


Originating from the eastern part of Europe, these plants develop spiking corollas of bright blue or pure white, much resembling grapes in appearance, hence their name. They are not too pretentious in terms of growing conditions as most originate from woodlands.

Muscari armenaicum

Origin: The Balkans, Caucasus

Flowering: April, May

By far the most common species here, with its spearing, sweet-scented flowers, this variety is very easy to grow and can be found in gardens all over the country. It prefers well-drained soils, as it originates from a region of Europe where the climate is drier and warmer. Its distinctiveness in terms of appearance is the white rim on its blooms.

Valerie Finis - Muscari armenaicum

Origin: Hybrid

Flowering: April, May

Standing out among other species through the conspicuous, unusual shade of blue of its petals,which evocates the colour of the sky, this species owes its name to a renowned horticulturist. It blooms in mid to late season.

Album - Muscari botroides

Origin: Northern Europe, Central Europe

Flowering: April, May

A white variety of this species, it is just as beautiful as its blue variation and makes a fine sight when planted alongside it. Moreover, it is a very adaptable and resilient plant, which makes it suitable for cultivation in a variety of soils.

Muscari latifolium

Origin: Black Sea region

Flowering: April, May

This species, which boasts bi-coloured blue flowers, owes its name to its distinctive foliage, comprising one sizeable glossy leaf which adjoins the bloom in an aesthetic shape. It originates from mountainous environments, mostly coniferous woods, and is therefore easily adaptable to the British climate. It prefers a well-drained soil.


Excellent for covering areas in flourishing vegetation, this plant grows from a rhizome, its stem reaching one metre in length. It spreads fast and develops spiking blooms with small petals of various colours, according to the exact subspecies. It is also appreciated for the aesthetic qualities of its soft, highly divided leaves. Moreover, it has been and is still used for medicinal purposes in some parts of the world.

Spring Fumitory - Corydalis solida

Origin: Europe

Flowering: March, April

With its long spiking flowers of a charming pink, usually in clusters of 10 o 15, this species blooms in spring and lasts until the beginning of the summer season. It is now considered a native species as it has been growing for centuries in the wild, however it originates from other parts of Europe. A climbing plant, it loves the shade and grows ideally under trees or bushes.

Rainbow – Corydalis solida

Origin: Europe

Flowering: March, April

A very attractive multi-coloured variety, it combines white and rosy petals, which can vary in terms of their precise colour tone. Presumably it owes its name to the different colours juxtaposed in its blooms and flowers in mid season.

Corydalis solida ssp incisa

Origin: Hybrid

Flowering: March, April

With the crimson of its beautiful petals drawing closer to red, this is a very resilient variety of hybrid origin and is a good naturaliser for British gardens. Its blooms look lively for weeks on end.

Corydalis cava

Origin: Europe

Flowering: March, April

This variety was naturalised in Britain hundreds of years ago, after being brought form mainland Europe. Its distinctive structure features a hollow rhizome, which is why it is commonly referred to as Hollowroot as well, and the colour of its petals is an attractive tone of pink. It is a shade loving plant, and you want to spot it in the wild accorss Britain, it grows in woodlands and hedgerows.


A common species in Europe hand having developed many subspecies in the course of history, (around 120 altogether) it can be found in woodlands as well as hedgerows across Britain. Although the most commonly found here is the native British species, many others can be adapted and are frequently found in gardens. The colours of its petals vary from white to red to lilac etc. A hardy and fast-growing plant, it thrives in soils which are rich in humus and develops ideally either in full sun of partial shade.

Anemone blanda

Origin: East Mediterranean

Flowering: April, May

Blooming in mid season with its rich corollas of delicate blue or white petals, this variety resembles the native British one, which can be found in the wild. It grows well in the shade, such as under other forms of vegetation, mainly trees and hedgerows. It also seems to thrive when naturalised in grass.

Anemone ranunculoides

Origin: Europe

Flowering: April, May

This variety can be found in many parts of the European continent, even those with harsher climates, situated in the northern hemisphere. Its lovely blooms of bright yellow are surrounded by deeply cut, fern-like leaves. This species flowers in mid to late season and remains looking fresh fro weeks. It thrives in typical woodland conditions.

Anemone appenina

Origin: Europe

Flowering: April, May

A species developing blue corollas, akin to other types of anemone, it grows optimally in the shade, which is why it is perfect for planting under trees or hedgerows. Also brought hundreds of years ago from mainland Europe, it has naturalised very well and grows here in the wild.

Anemone x lipsiensis Pallida

Origin: Europe

Flowering: April, May

This is a hybrid between the native British species and Anemone ranunculoides, resulting in it particular colour tone. Yet another subspecies which develops chromatically distinct corollas, its dainty petals are of a soothing cream. As it requires medium sunlight exposure, it is perfect for planting in partially shaded patches of your garden.

Monks Hood

Britain is home to a specific variety of Monk’s Hood which has been growing here for centuries. Yet it makes an equally welcoming environment for other varieties, brought from different parts of the world, mainly Europe. The species is named as such due to its hooded shape, which resembles the top of a monk’s cloak.

Albidum - Aconitum napellus subsp vulgare

Origin: The Alps, the Pyrenees, northern Spain

Flowering: June, July, August

This pure white subspecies, distinguished through its delicate blooms, requires the same growing conditions as the native variety, namely damp soils and semi-shade or full shade. Its blooms are spots of brightness in areas dominated by dark foliage and dimness. It generally prefers moist and clay soils and can reach one metre in height.

Aconitum carmichaelii Ardensii

Origin: Kamchatka

Flowering: August, September, October

This variety develops vertical, rich blue corollas, and thrives in drier natural conditions and spaces where it won’t be stifled by competition. Open patches in the sun are ideal. Also, it blooms late in the summer season and lasts well into autumn.

Sparks Variety - Aconitum henryi

Origin: Western China

Flowering: Late summer

Since this variety needs plenty space to expand, it should always be planted in open grounds. A fairly tall plant, its average height ranges between 2 and 4 feet, whereas its width can even reach 1.5 metres. It grows more sturdy than other species and shows a stronger tendency towards ramification. Its blooms are an eye-catching violet blue.

Aconitum x cammarum Bicolor

Origin: Hybrid

Flowering: July

Developing hooded flowers, bicoloured as the name indicates, comprising blue as well as white, this cross between Aconitum napellus and Aconitum varigatum grows numerous and vigorous branches and should be planted in an open space. It’s not pretentious in terms of soil, as it adapts to anything from normal to clay and even sandy soils, and grows well in full sun and partial shade alike.