Branching Bluebell

Branching Bluebell (Wahlenbergia multicaulis) and other Bluebells

Throughout Spring and Summer a range of bluebells have been flowering on the property. Some are large and beautifully coloured, while others appear smaller. Some seem to have six lobes, while most have five.  I admit to having a bit of difficulty in identifying these through a lack of clear field guide photographs against which to compare the ones I’ve taken.  Often, tiny differences in the appearance of the stamen and middle of the flower confuse the issue for me.

However, I am pretty certain that this Bluebell is the Branching Bluebell, otherwise known as Tadgell’s Bluebell.

Branching Bluebell
The Branching Bluebell has been quite widespread on the property over Spring and Summer. We still have one patch growing now.,

The Branching Bluebell  is the smaller of the Bluebells we have here, but I can find it in many of the micro-climates on our land. This includes the meadow-like grass along a fence, in among the bracken and wooded areas, as well as the more dry patches of sand. It seems well adapted and relatively hardy.

Can you identify the bluebells below?

I’ve been able to establish that Tall Bluebells, Tufted Bluebells and perhaps the Royal Bluebell can be found in our area.  I think we have at least two of these, but I’m not clear on how to distinguish each species from the other.  It would be fantastic if you can  help me to work out which species I’ve photographed:

Bluebell 1

This flower is large and showy. It is probably the Tall Bluebell, but I’m not 100% sure.

Bluebell 01
My guess is that this is a Tall Bluebell because it doesn’t display the tuft.. but then again…? Whatever it is, they are a joy to find.

Bluebell 2

The tufted stamen seems to point to this being a Tufted Bluebell, but if so, the colour of the centre of the bloom may be important.  This one has a white centre, while Bluebell 3 has a  mauve centre.  Are they the same species?

Bluebell 02
Potentially a Tufted Bluebell, these flowers seems to have a white centre.


Bluebell 3

A mauve centre with tufted stamen.

Bluebell 03
Also potentially a Tufted Bluebell, this flower has a mauve centre.

Bluebell 4

With six lobes, I’m not even sure if this is a bluebell, but if not, I can’t work out what else it might be.

Bluebell 04
With six lobes, not five as other bluebells have, perhaps this is not a bluebell at all?

All help in identifying these flowers is gratefully received. I would love to know what they are.

3 thoughts on “Branching Bluebell (Wahlenbergia multicaulis) and other Bluebells

  1. Lisa, these are gorgeous! Reminds me of the flowers I used to find in the woods near where I grew up in Iowa. Judy

    1. Thanks Judy. This year the bluebells have been plentiful. I recall seeing some last year, but I’m sure there are more of them around this year. It’s interesting that they remind you of flowers in Iowa! As you can see from the post, I’m still trying to determine which species they are from those native to my area. I agree they are beautiful, and when they grow in a patch near some yellow flowers, the contrasting colours create quite a show. Lisa

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