Here’s an early look at the native bluebells of Ireland, a wildflower common in the Burren, although seemingly declining in abundance. Tiny, I saw them growing under shrubs in Doolin. Not to be confused with Spanish bluebells—a hybrid with pale blue flowers—they have brilliant blue flowers hanging on one side of curving stems, with strap-like leaves. I’ve been working from a pressed specimen (photo on right) and a dozen different photos. The key will be to get those flowers the correct intensity. MUCH work to go.

2 thoughts on “Bluebells

  1. Michael, I am in the BG Botanic Art Illustration program and not quite graduated (next year). We were in the Leaves … class together. I was just looking at various artists’ sites and thought I’d look up yours. This picture had me doing a bit of research. But I Googled Harebell, since I know that’s what we have at 8,000 feet here in Evergreen where I live. Even Googled sites have some confusion between the Bluebell and the Harebell – like Scotland’s bluebell is actually a harebell. I now see the differences.


    1. From what I’ve learned being in Ireland, the bluebells bloom only in Spring, are much darker blue/violet, and the flowers all nod off the one side of a curving stem. Hairbells, on the other hand, bloom mid to late summer (everywhere in the Burren), are much lighter blue—almost transparent— and only produce single flowers on very slim stems. Spanish bluebells are hybrids and are more or less cultivated plants


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