16 April 2019

In pictures: Bluebell season at Wakehurst

Wakehurst's bluebells are at their best from now until the end of May. Don't miss your chance to see the woodlands transformed into a stunning carpet of blue.

By Sandra Howard

Bluebells and birch trees at Wakehurst

We have millions of bluebell bulbs scattered throughout our woodlands.  

They spend most of the year as bulbs underground and emerge to flower from April onwards.

 

Bluebells  in Bethlehem wood, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Coates wood, Wakehurst, Jim Holden

These delicate flowers are actually bulbous herbs with flowering stems, which grow up to 50cm tall. 

Bluebells, Bethlehem Wood, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Bethlehem Wood, Wakehurst, Jim Holden
Bluebells, Bethlehem Wood, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Bethlehem Wood, Wakehurst, Jim Holden

As many as 20 sweetly-scented flowers can appear on a single flower stalk, which droops or nods to one side.

The flowers are bell-shaped and can be blue, white or rarely even pink. Each flower has six petals with upturned tips.

Bluebell close up, Bethlehem wood, Wakehurst
Bluebell, Bethlehem wood, Wakehurst, Ellen McHale/RBG Kew

Bluebell nectar makes a tasty snack for pollinators.

Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects love them and their flowers provide an important early source of nectar. 

In fact, bees can actually 'steal' the nectar from the bluebells flowers by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell. By doing this, they reach the nectar without pollinating the flower. 

Bluebells, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Wakehurst, Jim Holden
Bluebells, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Wakehurst, Jim Holden

This year our bluebells are flowering a couple of weeks early as the weather hasn’t been cold enough to keep the bluebells underground.

Plan a visit

Bluebells, Wakehurst
Bluebells, Wakehurst, Jim Holden
Bluebells, Wakehurst

Visit Wakehurst

Explore our wild botanic garden, home to the Millennium Seed Bank and over 500 acres of the world’s plants in the heart of Sussex.

Plan a visit now