here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”

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April 21, 2020

The delicate bluebell is a plant endowed with a plethora of extraordinary properties.

From the bronze age to medieval times the sticky sap from bluebells was used to attach feathers to arrow shafts helping them to fly straight and true. DSC02756_20-04-13_Broken_Clock_Lingering_Vodka_Bluebells.jpg The sap was popular for binding early books and in the Elizabethan era starch from bluebells was also used to stiffen the large ruffled collars of high society.

Despite being toxic this perennial bulb has be used for a variety of medical and holistic treatments over the years from prevention of nightmares and treating snake bites to modern-day research that suggests that compounds created by the bluebell may fight diseases including cancer.

Britain is one of the countries where wild bluebells grow in their highest densities and their presence in numbers is actually considered to indicate the site of ancient forests and woodlands.

But native bluebells are being threatened by a foreign intruder - the Spanish bluebell - which was widely introduced to English country gardens by the Victorians.
This rather less delicate cousin to the British bluebell is now spreading into the wild and crossbreeding. This has led to British bluebells being strictly protected by law with huge penalties for anyone caught uprooting wild bulbs.

So next time you linger to enjoy the bluebell’s splendour take a moment to consider this wondrous plant’s power as well as its beautiful fragility.