Identifying the Varieties of Bluebell Flowers

Found most often in forests, bluebell flowers come in many shapes and sizes. Some are native to Europe, while others, like the Virginia Bluebell, are found wild in North America. Learn more below about three of the most common varieties of bluebell.

English Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta

The English or British bluebell has a deep blue flower and a long, straight-sided bell, whose petals curl up at the ends. They grow profusely in woodlands in spring, and saturate the air with their soft, fresh fragrance. The flowers all droop from one side of the stem, which grows to about 12 inches tall. The English bluebell is also known as the wild hyacinth.

Spanish Bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica

The Spanish bluebell's stems grow up to 3 feet tall, with flowers in a cluster pointing skyward at the top of each stem. As the pale blue bells open, they turn downward on all sides of the stem. Spanish bluebells are open and pointed at the ends, and may be streaked with white. They grow well in partial shade or sunlight.

Virginia Bluebell, Mertensia virginica

This flower prefers damp woodlands, near lake and stream shores. Its flowers are soft blue, flouncing outward from a slender base to form a bell. Some Virginia bluebells produce pink or white flowers.