British and Spanish bluebells have some key distinguishing features, but hybrids can be more difficult to identify. Use this guide to help tell the difference.

Flower spike/stem

British: flowers fall only on one side of the stem. Flower spike droops at the tip
Spanish:  flowers are arranged on all sides of the stem. The spike is upright
Hybrids: flowers are more likely to be arranged around the stem. The spike may have a slight curve

Pollen colour

British: creamy white
Spanish: blue
Hybrids: usually a pale shade of blue, but may also be white

Flower colour

British: deep blue
Spanish: usually lighter, paler blue or pink
Hybrids: any colour from white to blues and pinks

Flower shape

British: petals curl back at the tips
Spanish:  splayed and don't curl back
Hybrids: can be curled or splayed, but are usually more bell-shaped

Smell

British: sweet aroma
Spanish:  usually scentless
Hybrids: may have a faint smell or may be odourless 

Leaves

British: thin - less than 1.5cm wide
Spanish: thick - 2 to 4cm wide. May have a fleshier feel
Hybrids: 1 - 2 cm wide

Note:

Even though this guide should help you identify some of the key differences between Spanish and British bluebells, hybrids vary significantly and can be extremely difficult to identify. They may have features typical of both Spanish and British.

Have you identified your bluebell?

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