The Great British Bluebell Obsession – Dog Photography in Essex

Our iconic bluebells are a part of the British springtime.  They are mainly found carpeting ancient woodland around the country.  Like many spring flowers, the timing and duration of the bluebell’s bloom is very dependent on the weather, though it can start in early April and end mid-May, they usually are usually only in full bloom for 2-3 weeks a year.

Bluebell Dog Photography in Bishops Stortford

Fun Facts

• Bluebells are protected under law in the UK. If you dig up and sell a wild bluebell you can be fined £5000 per bulb.
• In the Bronze Age, feathers were stuck on arrows with glue made from bluebells.
• Bluebells are poisonous and contain about 15 biologically active compounds to defend themselves from animals and insect pests
• Certain water-soluble alkaloids are chemically similar to those used to fight HIV and cancer

english Bluebell wood - pet photography in Biships Stortford

Did you know Bluebells come in 2 main varieties? The bluebells found in ancient woodlands are native English Bluebells. The other variety is the Spanish Bluebell (introduced by the Victorians), often found in gardens, although they are making their way out of the garden. The appearance of the Spanish bluebell has endangered our English bluebell as they will cross pollenate and breed producing a fertile hybrid (3rd variety).

So how do you tell English Bluebells from Spanish or hybrid ones?

When you look at the Spanish and English varieties side by side I think the differences are obvious, but you don’t see them side by side, and the hybrids are more difficult to spot. It seems on their own they can be difficult to identify. The Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trust gives us these descriptions:

Native - (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

  • Pollen cream-white colour
  • Deep violet-blue. But you may also occasionally find white or even pale pink flowers
  • Flower stems may droop or nod to one side
  • Almost all flowers are on one side of the stem
  • Flowers are a narrow, straight-sided bell with parallel sides
  • Petal tips are reflexed (curled back)
  • Flowers have a strong, sweet scent
English Bluebell pet photography in Bishops stortford

Spanish Bluebells - (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

  • Blue pollen
  • Upright stems
  • Conical bell-shaped flowers with open tips
  • No scent
Spanish Bluebell


Hybrid bluebells - (Hyacinthoides x massartiana)

• Pollen green or blue (but may also be white or cream)
• Pale to mid-blue, often also white or pink
• Flower stem is stiff and upright, but in some cases can droop or nod
• Flowers maybe wide open and cone-shaped or bell-shaped
• Flowers may be scented or unscented

Back in 2005 a botanical charity, called Plantlife, had a spring-time poll where bluebells were voted the favourite wildflower of England. It seems Scotland, Wales and Ireland voted for the primrose. I have to agree with England though, there’s something magical about our native English Bluebells. If you get the opportunity to be in a bluebell wood just stop and take in a big deep breath, the scent is intoxicatingly sweet.

This year I have been given privileged access to a private bluebell wood, which has allowed me to give you the opportunity to have your dog photographed among the gorgeous violet-blue carpet.  To go along with this, I have also created a special offer for the few that get the opportunity to book a session. If you would like to be among the lucky ones and take advantage of this opportunity, then you’ll want to take a look here.