Friday, 8 April 2011

Bluebell Invaders

Went for a quick walk up the lane this evening,  and was surprised to see these Bluebells growing up there,  I can only think that someone has planted them, unfortunately these are not our native Bluebells but are a Spanish invader, it's easy to ID the the difference, the English ones have all the flowers on one side of the stem and the stem will tend to curve over, the English ones are also a deeper blue, whereas the invading non native Spanish ones have the flowers all around a stout upright stem and tend to be a much paler blue.

The Spanish bluebell is apparently pushing out our native species and is hybridising, but most of the bluebells you buy in shop's are hybrids anyway, so what can you do to stop the invader?, well not a lot I'm afraid, you can dead head the bluebell, you can dig up the bulbs, if you have permission from the landowner to do this, but unless you get all of the bulbs and bits of bulbs you are  basically wasting your time as they will continue to come back year after year unless you get every last single piece of bulb, even then disturbing the soil can bring formerly dormant seeds to the surface and start off a whole new generation of them, some people go to great lengths to kill off the invaders with powerful weedkillers, but as these are new to this area and i don't have permission to dig the bulbs up nor do i want to be attacking wild plants with stuff like Roundup, all i can do is wait until they have finished flowering, then dead them  to slow down the progress and limit spread of the invading Bluebell.

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