Carpets of bluebells are one of the greatest sights of spring. Here in the UK, we have more than half of the world's bluebells and you can see them in woods up and down the country each spring.

When do bluebells flower?

Bluebells usually flower from mid-April to late May, depending on the weather. If spring is mild they tend to bloom early. They'll often first appear in the South West where it's a little warmer than the rest of the UK. You can help us track when they flower through Nature's Calendar.

Do bluebells flower every year?

Bluebells are perennials which means they flower annually. They spend the spring soaking up energy from the sunshine and store the energy in their bulb over winter, waiting to bloom again.

Did you know?

Bluebells can be an indicator of an ancient woodland.

Where to see bluebells

Bluebells are traditionally woodland flowers. They can grow very close together, which creates the beautiful seas of bluebells we see. They need undisturbed soil to grow, so you're most likely to see them in old and ancient woods. You might also spot them growing along hedgerows, and in fields and gardens.

Do bluebells smell?

Native bluebells have a strong and sweet scent. Non-native Spanish bluebells and hybrids have a much weaker scent, so the stronger the smell the more likely you've found a native specimen.

Are bluebells protected in the UK?

Native bluebells are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It's against the law to dig up bulbs in the wild without landowner permission and landowners aren't allowed to dig them up and sell them.

You can help protect native bluebells by keeping to the path on your woodland walks. The delicate plants are easily damaged which can affect future growth.

Record bluebells for Nature’s Calendar

Whether you have bluebells in your garden or you’ve spotted some on a regular route, letting us know when it starts flowering is simple but vital information!

The Nature’s Calendar project tracks the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife across the UK – its records date all the way back to 1736! Bluebells beginning to flower is one of 69 wildlife species recorded for the project. 

Join Nature’s Calendar to record your sightings – every record is crucial and valid. The data recorded helps us to better understand the effects of climate change and other patterns in the natural environment. By taking just a few minutes to share what you see, you'll be adding to hundreds of years' worth of important data. We couldn't do this work without you!

Visiting woods

Spot the signs of the seasons

Have you seen your first butterfly or swallow of spring? Or your first ripening berry or autumn leaf tint? Let us know what's happening to animals and plants near you and help scientists track the effects of climate change on wildlife.

Join Natures Calendar

Discover more woodland flowers