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A passion for bluebells

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Production team | 17:14 UK time, Friday, 8 May 2009

Hello all

This week the team is at the Malvern Show and one of the special features from the programme is all about bluebells. So I thought I'd share some of the fascinating facts that I've just discovered about these wonderful plants:

  • In Elizabethan times bluebell bulbs were crushed to provide starch for the ruffs of collars and sleeves.

  • All parts of the bluebell are poisonous; make sure you seek medical advice if any parts are ingested, although Badgers have been known to eat the bulbs.

  • Bluebells are important early food flowers for bees, hoverflies and butterflies which feed on the nectar.

  • Honey bees can steal the nectar by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell, reaching the nectar without pollinating the flower.

  • Bluebells grow from the cliffs of Cape Wrath in Sutherland to Land's End in Cornwall.

  • Breaking leaves by trampling and picking can kill the plant.

  • In ancient times the sticky sap from the bluebell leaves was used for attaching feathers to arrows.

  • The bluebell was once the flower of England.

Why not see some fabulous bluebells in their native habitats on one of the many special walks set to take place over the next week? The Ramblers Association has a list of bluebells walks around the UK on their website.

Finally for those of who started sowing seeds last weekend, how did it go? My first lettuce shoots are starting to sprout!


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