Heister ex Fabricius

Enum., 2. 1759.

Common names: Bluebell
Etymology: genus Hyacinthus and Greek oides, resembling
Synonyms: Endymion Dumortier
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 315. Mentioned on page 58.

Herbs, perennial, scapose, from bulbs. Bulb annual, ovoid, composed of few tubular coalescent scales, completely renewed annually. Leaves few, basal. Inflorescences racemose, bracteate; bracts 2 subtending each flower, linear-lanceolate. Flowers: tepals shortly connate basally, each 1-veined, 15– 20 mm; stamens 6; filaments inserted on perianth; anthers dorsifixed, versatile, introrse; ovary superior, 3-locular, septal nectaries present, ovules 1–10 per locule; style simple; stigma swollen distally. Fruits capsular, subglobose, 3-lobed, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 3–30, black, globose to ellipsoid, unwinged. x = 8.


Introduced; w Europe, nw Africa.


Species 3–4 (2 in the flora).

Occasional garden escapes of Hyacinthoides occur in North America. Although the species are still often referred to as Scilla in North American floras, the group has been recognized separately for some 70 years (originally as Endymion), distinguished from Scilla by a number of developmental features as well as the partially fused perianth.

Hybrids between Hyacinthoides non-scripta and H. hispanica are widespread in gardens and are widely naturalized in Washington state, and probably elsewhere, occurring in the absence of either parent. These hybrids, which have been called H. ×variabilis P. D. Sell, show a range of intermediacy between the parents, and, in particular, have slightly one-sided racemes, slightly recurved tepals, stamens that are variable in length, and bluish or whitish anthers (P. D. Sell and G. Murrell 1996).


1 Raceme 1-sided; flowers all becoming pendent, fragrant; tepals strongly recurved at apex; stamens unequal, outer inserted just above middle of tepals, inner near base; anthers cream. Hyacinthoides non-scripta
1 Raceme not 1-sided; at least distal flowers remaining erect, not fragrant; tepals spreading but not recurved; stamens equal, inserted below middle of tepals; anthers blue. Hyacinthoides hispanica