10 fun facts about bluebells to tell kids

Bluebells woodsYeah it’s bluebell time in the woods! When the ancient woodlands around the valley where we lived in southeast England turned blue, I used to take my twins Luce and Theo for walks to see the bluebells every year.

Bluebells and kids in woodsKids woods path bluebellsOften they flower away for weeks non stop. Sometimes my kids were rather annoyed with them as they couldn’t run around the woods as freely as they’d like. They know the rules that they shouldn’t pick bluebells nor trample over them.

Bluebells den woods

Bluebells den entranceOften they couldn’t even sit inside their den in the woods as nature furnished it with wall to wall bluebell carpeting. (It’s the awesome den they built themselves)

At least they can easily identify them, although I never taught them that the Latin name for native bluebells is Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Did you know ‘bluebell’ was one of the nature words dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary?

As my daughter is a huge fan of Horrible Histories, I decided to make our bluebell walks a bit more interesting by telling my kids some more interesting and different facts about these native wild flowers.

10 not so usual facts about bluebells to tell kids:

  1. Bluebells are also called ‘fairy flowers.’ According to an old myth fairies used bluebells to lure and trap people passing by in the woods – especially children. Bluebells myths
  2. Another myth is that if you wear a wreath of bluebells you will be compelled to tell the truth.
  3. Bluebells are poisonous and contain about 15 biologically active compounds to defend themselves from animals and insect pests. But scientists are now researching how these toxic chemicals could one day help treat cancer.
  4. The first bluebells are believed to have appeared in Britain after the last Ice Age.
  5. In the Bronze Age feathers were stuck on arrows with glue made from bluebells.Bluebells sunray
  6. During Queen Elizabeth I’s reign starch was made from the crushed bulbs of bluebells to stiffen their big ruff collars.
  7. Bluebells are protected under law in UK. If you dig up and sell a wild bluebell you can be fined £5000 per bulb.
  8. It takes at least five years for a bluebell seed to grow into a bulb.10 fun bluebell facts for kids no 9 bee
  9. Bees rely heavily on the flowers’ nectar in the spring but sometimes they ‘steal’ it by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell. Albino bluebells
  10. There are rare ‘albino’ bluebells which are white as they lack the blue pigment.

Deer path bluebell woodsAfter an adventure identifying and looking for badger paths through the woods, Luce and Theo have discovered that they can avoid walking on bluebells by following these well-worn trails. Luckily there’s a deer highway that passes right in front of their den.

Sunray deep woods bluebellsThe presence of bluebell drifts is also a big clue in the woods themselves that we’re exploring ancient woodlands.

wild daffodils bluebellsWild daffodils – Narcissus pseudonarcissus – like bluebells are an ancient woodlands indicator plant, so if you’re lucky you may spot both together!

I’ve also written about fun facts to tell kids about Snowdrops. 

Now without wearing a wreath of bluebells I have to tell you the truth. I haven’t told them all of the facts yet because I plan on taking them for another bluebell walk this weekend.10 fun facts bluebells

29 thoughts on “10 fun facts about bluebells to tell kids”

  1. Sorry bout the deer den comment . Re read and discovered my error. Den looks more like a “wickiup”…

  2. Deer den? Other than that, believable post. Planting seeds this fall in eastern Ohio in a shady area near a new pond. Hope I get flowers before 5 Years! Thanks for the fun facts!

  3. We had some come up in the garden of our rental home last year, I decided this year to dig them up to re-plant in a more spread out fashion. I discovered close to 50 bulbs in a square meter area, and probably left another half of those in the ground. This spring we’ll have them come up, interspersed with other bulbs in a special garden bed. Cant wait. Thanks for sharing #TheList

  4. I love myths and I love telling holly about fairies 🙂
    Thanks for all the info!
    Great post

  5. UUmmm AMAZING post! I saw an albino bluebells and took photos and its nice to know that they are albino variants. And the fine .. i have to admit that something in me wants to have some of them in my terrace so thats super helpful! Wont touch them again as I dont have money to bail me out. What I most like is that they have this chance to cure cancer. Thats an amazing thing. What a promising discovery and if its works imagine how there are so much of it so there will be more people who will have access to treatment if ever! #countrykids

  6. Lol, an interesting list. I might have to do similar to get N out with me on walks. We’ve not seen any bluebells other than those on the roadsides as there’s no bluebell woods near us. They are such pretty little flowers.

  7. Never mind the kids, I think those bluebell facts are awesome. I didn’t know many of them at all and I’m a massive bluebell fan. It’s one reason I love this time of year. The woods look beautiful and I’m very jealous of the twin’s den -even if they can’t use it for a little while!

  8. Wow those really are some interesting facts. I had no idea they take 5 years to bloom! And I hope they do manage to find something positive towards helping fight cancer!

  9. Wow, Kriss! That was fun and interesting lists of facts about bluebells. They really are beautiful. I am looking forward what the rest in your list. 🙂 xx

  10. I’ve recently moved and don’t know where my nearest bluebell wood is. I’m going to have to get hunting. I love fact 8. Who knew that a seed could takethat long to bulb. Is that going to be similar for daffs etc?

  11. So lovely to see all those bluebells – I need to find a wood near us that has some bluebells and go for a walk with the girls. Interesting to read all the facts about bluebells too – there were only a couple on your list that I knew so have learned something new today! 🙂

  12. Wow we are living the bluebells everywhere but these are great facts. Possible cure for cancer? That’s amazing x

  13. That is a stunning woods and really interesting facts about the bluebells. I will be using some of those next time we see the bluebells! 🙂 #countrykids

  14. A great list Kriss and many I didn’t know. I knew about the fine for picking bluebells but the toxins I didn’t know about and the thought of Bluebells as a possible cancer cure is very exciting. I hope the children can enjoy the animals paths while their den is a no go zone. Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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