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Photographer's Note

Well, to me this is what spring in the UK is all about - Bluebells! Every year in April/May these perennial bulbs carpet the woodland floor with their beautiful vivid blue flowers.

There are two main species of Bluebells in the UK, these (our native species) which are simply referred to as "Bluebells" and the Spanish Bluebell (an introduced species) - the easy way to tell them apart is to look in the centre of the flower, if the anthers are cream coloured then it's a Bluebell, if they're blue then it's a Spanish Bluebell!

In the background there's a coppiced tree providing the shade that the Bluebells prefer here in the south of England. Coppicing is an ancient woodland management practice dating back at least a thousand years here, and basically involves trimming the tree off at ground level - surprisingly it apparently prolongs the lifespan of the trees which can live up to three times longer than their non-coppiced brethren. Coppicing is useful for making sticks for charcoal production and for providing other thin timber, for broom making and historically making the "wattle" for "wattle and daub" housing.

The main bluebell is "talking to" a bracken frond. Bracken is a fern. More on that here.

I would give you the Latin names for the Bluebell, but there seems to be a certain amount of debate and uncertainty about that! However it is definitely a member of Liliaceae - the Lily family :-)

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Additional Photos by Adrian Warren (AdrianW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 1144 N: 354] (2274)
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