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© H. Zell
© H. Zell
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Hyacinthoides hispanica

Identity

Common name: Spanish bluebell
Origin: Spain, Portugal
Plant type: Herbaceous
Life cycle: Perennial
Code of conduct: Annex I (consensus list)
Invasive status (ISEIA protocol): Watch list
Main ornemental function: Mixed border

Description

Bulb plant, herbaceous, up to 20 - 50 cm tall, with 4 to 20 pale blue coloured flowers (sometimes white or pink) and basal leaves. Leaves may be are erect at first but become floppy and spread across the ground later in the season. The leaf shape is usually linear or oblong. Flowers are odourless.

Spread

Widely dispersed by horticultural activities, Hyacinthoides hispanica and H. x massartiana may escape in the wild in the vicinity of planted populations in parks and gardens. Seed or bulb dispersion is rather limited but pollen may be disseminated over distances exceeding 1 km. The dispersal potential is medium. New populations probably appear from deposit of garden rubbish containing bulbs.

Habitat

Wet and nutrient-rich deciduous forests. Similar habitats than the native bluebell H. non scripta.

Impact

Species classified B2 in Belgium. The Spanish bluebell H. hispanica may easily produce fertile hybrids (H. x massartiana) with native bluebells (H. non-scripta). Due to low habitat differentiation, it may pose a significant risk to the survival of the native species by assimilation and introgression processes. Hybridization risks are high. Field observations along the Belgian coast also suggest that the more vigorous Spanish bluebell may potentially outcompete the native one. The species is in very strong expansion in the United-Kingdom. In Belgium, H. hispanica is more established in the Altlantic region. For more information, click here

Recommendation

Do not plant, do not buy this species.

Possible native alternative

Main ornemental function

Mixed border

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