The Magic of Bluebell Flowers

Once you see bluebells blooming, you know that spring is near. Their vibrant blue-purple color and bell-shaped flower hint that warmer weather is here to stay. They are charming, perennial flowers that are found all over the world in woodlands, meadows, and gardens.

While many of the key characteristics of bluebells are the same across the different types, here are six of the most common variants used throughout the world to bring a magical touch to your home and garden.

All about Bluebells

Part of the lily family, bluebells have a floral scent, with hints of delicate greenery. It’s soft, sweet, and fresh, almost like a Hyacinth.

Flowers have long been a language used to represent feelings and emotions, and bluebells stand for everlasting love, constancy, and gratitude. They also can mean humility, said to be because of their shape.

These stunning and ethereal flowers almost look like they’re bowing down in subservience on their stems.

Types of Bluebells

The subtle differences between the types of bluebell flowers can change the look and feel of your garden. Whether you’re looking for the traditional flower or a more modern hybrid variety, here’s everything you need to know about bluebells to make the best choice for you and your garden.

English Bluebell

Says "crisps" and wants tea.

The English bluebell has a long history, dating back to the early 1500s. Native to England and France, the English bluebell is most commonly found in the woodlands, blooming in the spring. The flowers typically grow on the same side of the stem, reaching up to 12 inches (30.48 cm) in height.

The deep-blue flower radiates a soft, fresh, and floral scent. The petals curl up at the end of a straight long bell shape, though they bend into a delicate curve shape. If you’re looking to plant English bluebells in your garden, keep in mind that they grow best in moist, well-drained soils.

Spanish Bluebell

Not always blue.

The Spanish bluebell has several key differences from other bluebells on this list. They have no scent and grow straight and pointed with blooms on all sides of the flower. In addition to blue, you can find Spanish bluebells in pink and white.

When Spanish bluebells were first introduced, they were thought to be invasive plants. However, now they are a well-respected type of bluebell flower. They bloom in open fields in clusters open towards the sky and grow up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall. If you are hoping to grow Spanish bluebells, they do best in partial shade or sunlight, depending on the climate.

Virginia Bluebell

Give these flowers ample sunlight.

Virginia bluebells are similar to Forget-Me-Nots and Comfrey flowers, and with good reason. They’re part of the same Boraginaceae family. Virginia bluebells have a beautiful sky blue, almost purple, color when fully matured. However, they start their life as pink flowers. It’s a beautiful contrast against their green, rounded leaves.

Virginia bluebells grow up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall, blooming from spring through early-to-mid summer. You need rich, moist soil with partial to full shade to grow Virginia bluebells. The more sunlight they get, the more water your Virginia bluebells will need.

Scottish Bluebell

A truly legendary little flower.

Scottish bluebells earned the name harebells because they grew in fields with many hares. However, the mystery surrounding these flowers only starts there. It was once said the rabbits were witches who transformed to hide. Others believe that fairies live in the flowers. Whatever you think, these are native to the northern hemisphere and are beautiful additions to any garden.

Scottish bluebells can thrive with full sun to partial shade in most soil types. Mulch can help keep these flowers healthy. They can grow up to 1 foot (0.3 meters) tall and 15 inches (38.1 cm) wide.


A flower of many faces.

Campanula flowers have many different species, giving them a diverse look and feel. They can be the traditional bell shape or look like a cup and saucer, tube, or star. They also come in blue, pink, purple, and white colors. Depending on the environment, Campanula can grow from less than an inch (3cm) to 12 feet (3.65 meters). Campanula can withstand winter, thriving and blooming in the harshest of conditions.

Hybrid Bluebell

Now we're getting sci-fi.

First introduced in 1997, hybrid bluebells are a mix between the common bluebell flower and the Spanish bluebell. They are striking to look at, with all the best characteristics of both. Hybrid bluebells have broad leaves with a light and subtle fragrance. Their flowers are scattered all over the stem, with petals that curl at the end. Hybrid bluebells are ideal for gardens and meadows.

Folklore about Bluebells

Bluebells are beautiful flowers, but they also carry a lot of superstitions in their delicate frames. Bluebells can be used to call fairies to your glen - you simply ring them. However, if a person hears the call of a bluebell, it’s said that a loved one will soon die.

They’re known to be magical flowers, and walking through a field can cause a person to be spellbound. If you find yourself taken by the beauty of a bluebell field, don’t pick a flower. It’s said to bring bad luck and misfortune to your home if you bring them inside. Regardless of whether you believe these superstitions, bluebells make fantastic additions to any outdoor area.

Posted by Melissa Jackson

Melissa is passionate about all things home and garden, helping others to fashion their dream home one space at a time. An avid reader, when she’s not writing, you can find her nose deep in a book, cuddling with her two dogs.