Spanish bluebells

patty allen
Wed, 07 May 2008 23:38:26 PDT
 Personally, I would love to see you post a photo of an "English Bluebell wood".
Sounds like it would be as beautiful as a field of "Texas Bluebonnets".

Patty Allen
Humble, Texas USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: John Grimshaw <>
>Sent: May 8, 2008 2:28 AM
>To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
>Subject: Re: [pbs] Spanish bluebells
>'Spanish bluebell' is a dirty 'word' here in the UK, where Hyacinthoides 
>hispanicus is highly successful and hybridises with the native H. 
>non-scriptus to form H. x massartiana. This is perceived by conservationists 
>as being a threat to our native species and the issue has received a huge 
>amount of media coverage and has sunk into public's perception, probably 
>because of its inherent xenophobia ("Bloody foreigners coming over 'ere and 
>pollinating our bluebells..."). It is extraordinary how often visitors to 
>the garden here will say, on hearing that bluebells succeed the snowdrops, 
>'I hope you don't have any Spanish ones', even though they would probably 
>not be able to tell the difference. Of course we do - no 19th C garden would 
>not have, and a multicoloured array of hybrids too - but we also have masses 
>of unadulterated natives, and on the Colesbourne estate are woods currently 
>blue by the acre with them. (If you have never seen an English bluebell wood 
>it is one of the botanical sights of the world).
>Personally, I think the issue is grossly overexaggerated - no doubt there 
>are areas where hybrids outnumber natives, especially in urban areas, but it 
>seems highly improbable that the dreaded hybrids are going to take over 
>every wood in the country. There are plenty of further scare stories though: 
>global warming will cause the bluebells to die out because the leaves come 
>on the trees earlier & thus shade out the bluebells (perhaps the bluebells 
>may come into growth earlier?) and wicked commercial bulb dealers will strip 
>every wood in the country for gardeners to plant natives. This 'threat' was 
>specifically legislated against in 1998, despite the fact that there must be 
>thousands of acres of woods that could be harvested sustainably.
>From a horticultural viewpoint, though, I can't imagine why anyone would 
>risk their garden by deliberately planting  H. hispanicus - it really is an 
>ineradicable thug.
>John Grimshaw
>Dr John M. Grimshaw
>Sycamore Cottage
>Nr Cheltenham
>Gloucestershire GL53 9NP
>Tel. 01242 870567
>pbs mailing list

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