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Spanish Bluebell - Invasive Species Information

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica Biodiversity High Risk

Reproduction: Spanish bluebell's seed freely and often hybridize through insect polination.

The Spanish bluebell has hybridised frequently with the native common bluebell and the resulting hybrids are regarded as invasive.

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica flowers

Spanish Bluebell Flowers

The resulting hybrid Hyacinthoides × massartiana and the Spanish bluebell both produce highly fertile seed but it is generally the hybrid that invades areas of the native common bluebell. This has caused the common bluebell to be viewed as a threatened species.

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica & Common Bluebell Comparison

Spanish Bluebell
Hyacinthoides hispanica

Common Bluebell
Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Spanish & Common  Bluebell Identification

Spanish Bluebell is distinguished from the common bluebell by its paler and larger blue flowers, which are less pendulous and not all drooping to one side like the common bluebell; plus a more erect flower stem (raceme), broader leaves, blue anthers (where the common bluebell has creamy-white ones) and little or no scent compared to the strong fragrant scent of the northern species.

 

Like Hyacinthoides non-scripta, both pink and white flowered forms occur.

How To Identify Spanish Bluebell?

Leaf: Broad green leaf 

Flower: Pale or dark blue

Stem: Green upright & tubular

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica woodland stand

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica ID Guide

Spanish Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica ID Guide

Spanish  Bluebell - Hyacinthoides hispanica ID Guide

Spanish  Bluebell Woodland Stand

Why Is Spanish Bluebell A Problem?

The larger Spanish bluebell can become a problem, not just because of its spreading habit, but also due to its ability to hybridise with the native form. The hybrid forms displace the natives.

As well as the threat of extinction, Spanish bluebells pose to native bluebells, their spread also have knock-on effects for other species.

 

Native plants and animals evolve together, forming close dependencies and relationships which break down when one is removed or replaced.

 

The preservation of native plants and animals is crucial to maintaining the variety of life that make Ireland's woodlands and wild places so rich and diverse.

What Is Spanish Bluebell - (Hyacinthoides hispanica)?

Habitat: Terrestrial. Commonly found in woodland
Distribution in Ireland: Abundant in woodland and gardens nationwide.

Status: Established
Family name: Asparagaceae

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...

 

Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50.

  1. American Skunk-CabbageLysichiton americanus

  2. Brazilian Giant-RhubarbGunnera manicata

  3. Broad-Leaved RushJuncus planifolius

  4. Cape PondweedAponogeton distachyos

  5. Cord-GrassesSpartina (all species and hybrids)

  6. Curly Waterweed - Lagarosiphon major

  7. Dwarf Eel-GrassZostera japonica

  8. FanwortCabomba caroliniana

  9. Floating PennywortHydrocotyle ranunculoides

  10. Fringed Water-LilyNymphoides peltata

  11. Giant HogweedHeracleum mantegazzianum

  12. Giant KnotweedFallopia sachalinensis

  13. Giant-RhubarbGunnera tinctoria

  14. Giant SalviniaSalvinia molesta

  15. Himalayan BalsamImpatiens glandulifera

  16. Himalayan KnotweedPersicaria wallichii

  17. Hottentot-FigCarpobrotus edulis

  18. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica

  19. Large-Flowered WaterweedEgeria densa

  20. Mile-a-Minute WeedPersicaria perfoliata

  21. New Zealand PigmyweedCrassula helmsii

  22. Parrots FeatherMyriophyllum aquaticum

  23. Red AlgaGrateloupia doryphora

  24. RhododendronRhododendron ponticum

  25. SalmonberryRubus spectabilis

  26. Sea-Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides

  27. Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

  28. Three-Cornered LeekAllium triquetrum

  29. WakameUndaria pinnatifida

  30. Water ChestnutTrapa natans

  31. Water FernAzolla filiculoides

  32. Water LettucePistia stratiotes

  33. Water-PrimroseLudwigia (all species)

  34. WaterweedsElodea (all species)

  35. WireweedSargassum muticum