For those who love true blue flowers, Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) is the plant for you. This flower’s old world charm brings to mind poems by Wordsworth or Shakespearian tales. Even the name has a lyrical quality to it. Many of you may already be familiar with Hyacinthoides hispanica, but under its former name Scilla hispanica or just scilla or squill. There is also an English bluebell, (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) that blooms earlier and is smaller in stature. Spanish bluebells grow to about 3 to 4 times taller than their English cousins. They will also require more sunlight than English bluebells.

Spanish bluebells are a wonderful addition to a partially shaded woodland garden, but they will thrive in full sun as well. Their soil requirements are minimal, just give them good drainage and they will be happy. Plant the bulbs in fall at the same time you plant tulips and daffodils.

Once they are established you will find that Spanish bluebells are very drought tolerant and need little attention. They naturalize by both bulb offsets and self-seeding so they are perfect for wildflower meadows, wooded glens and anywhere else you would like to add a little poetry.