|Inflorescence of a wild Hyacinthoides italica|
(L.) Chouard ex Rothm.
It is one of around 11 species in the genus Hyacinthoides, others including the common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) in northwestern Europe, and the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) further west in the Iberian Peninsula.
Hyacinthoides italica is up to 10–40 centimetres (3.9–15.7 in) tall. The stem is leafless. It has 3-6 basal lance-shaped leaves, 4–15 millimetres (0.16–0.59 in) wide and 7–15 centimetres (2.8–5.9 in) long. The inflorescence is a dense, conical or pyramid-like raceme with 5-30 bright violet-blue star-like flowers. The flowers have two narrow bracts. Flowering period extends from February to May.
It is in some respects intermediate between the common and Spanish species in having slender leaves (as in H. non-scripta or even slenderer), but a dense raceme of flowers (as in H. hispanica; not sparse and one-sided as in H. non-scripta).
It can be found in olive groves, in dry and stony meadows and in clearings of forests at an elevation up to 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level.
Illustration from The Botanical Magazine, Plate 663
- Catalogue of life
- International Plant Names Index
- World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2011-07-05, search for "Hyacinthoides"
- Acta Plantarum
- Den virtuella floran
- PIGNATTI S., 1982. Flora d'Italia, Edagricole, Bologna
- "Hyacinthoides italica". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- Huxley, A. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening vol. 2: 604. Macmillan.
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