Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spanish Bluebell, Wood Hyacinth
Hyacinthoides hispanica

Family: Hyacinthaceae
Genus: Hyacinthoides (hy-uh-sin-THOY-deez) (Info)
Species: hispanica (his-PAN-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Endymion campanulatus
Synonym:Endymion hispanicus
Synonym:Hyacinthoides non-scripta subsp. hispanica
Synonym:Scilla campanulata
Synonym:Scilla hispanica

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

38 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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14 positives
No neutrals
6 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative reflid On Mar 6, 2015, reflid from Portland, OR wrote:

Looks to me like the NW is the place for these to become devil plants -- from reading the posts, they behave themselves in other eco zones. But if you live East of the Cascades, watch out.

Last year, I bought a home and removed about 800 bulbs. What I didn't know that Spanish Hyacinths generate new bulbs from tiny bits of bulbs and, I suspect, pieces of the bulb roots.

This year, I've already spent about 9 hours in the same bed, removing more--some big ones that I missed last year and tons of tiny ones that are new this year. The latter causes me to question propagation by bulb root.

If you want to remove this invader, I suggest removing the soil where they grow lest it contain tiny pieces of root. Also, clean your work tools before moving into another part of the yard. Any remnants of bulbs/roots on your tools can transfer the problem. Others have addressed dealing with seed heads & seeds.

If anyone has tested the propagation of root pieces, I'd like to know the test results. I plan to do my own tests, and will let you know what I learn.

If anyone has successfully removed these plants -- and they stayed removed--I'd like to know your methods.

Positive raspberrypicket On Nov 13, 2014, raspberrypicket from Circleville, OH wrote:

I have a patch of Spanish Bluebells i planted ten or more years ago. I live in Circleville, Ohio zone 5. I have never had a problem of them spreading out of control. Actually when I purchased and planted them I wanted to spread! They are planted under a beautiful Japanese Maple and I look forward to their arrival every spring!

Negative want2buy On May 27, 2014, want2buy from Brady, WA wrote:

Naturalizes to the point of killing everything else, or taking shelter under and around roots of shrubs and trees. The bulbs connect to others underground by tendrils, and also by adding tiny seed-sized bulbs around themselves at the same time. When the flowers dry, round hard seeds form and you can have hundreds of new hardy seeds flying around your beds, yard and neighborhood. They certainly don't need careful planting and self sow. If you have moderately good soil and fair amounts of water you will be facing a major battle. Bulbs must be removed by hand, including tendril. Weed whack but leave tips of the green so you can find the bulbs still, but keep leaves from storing energy for those bulbs. Sift the soil of all bulbs small and large. Some bulbs will be as big as turnips and browned, while others look like the white ends of green onions but bulb shaped. Cut off all flowers prior to drying and seed time. Do not compost. Don't even risk it. They survive beyond belief,and though they can grow densely, their thin leaves allow all kinds of weeds in your beds anyway. If only the old homeowners hadn't planted a small bed of them years ago. I have been battling these in my lawn and several inundated flower beds for about 8 years. Just because they sell them, doesn't mean they're not a terrible idea.

Negative sarahvk On Mar 10, 2013, sarahvk from Nuenen
Netherlands wrote:

A pretty plant but I would strongly advise caution if considering, especially for those that border natural woodland. I have no problem with plants self generating if they are easily controllable if necessary, but in my garden, H. hispanica has multiplied through seed and offsets and is proving to be an aggresive and resilient plant. Its wandering far to much for my liking and is in the process of pushing out other plants. Many of the bulbs have drawn themselves deep into the earth making them extraordinarily difficult to dig out around other established plants. I am currently digging some bulbs out as deep as 30cm. This main group is growing in a sunny position and I've now noticed them coming up in a fairly shady spot amongst my mass planting of Chionodoxa which they will overrun if I don't eradicate them. I have also been amazed by how severely damaged bulbs (squashed or cut in half) have recovered and gone onto to flower. Caution advised!

Positive rickc304 On May 13, 2012, rickc304 from Niles, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is an attractive and fragrant spring ephemeral. Makes a great addition to any spring garden.

Positive Garbear On May 2, 2012, Garbear from Niantic, CT wrote:

We just found out what our mystery plant in the side garden was after 24 years of living here on this property. It is a White Wood Hyacinth, and has bloomed consistently in late Spring/early Summer the whole time we've been here, with no care whatsoever. It just blooms and lives happily in its' spot, never changing much, and is trouble-free in our climate and non-invasive. Our location is Niantic, Connecticut.

Positive kljflower On May 17, 2011, kljflower from Tipp City, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Interesting that the only place in US where it seems to be "invasive" is in the northwest. In my small town north of Dayton, Ohio, this plant has mutiplied but in no way is it a problem. I have blue and white and my mother in same town has lavender. My biggest "problem" with them is that sometimes I forget where they are and plant something that overpowers the wood hyacinth. They seem to be quite patient though and still bloom all smashed up next to something. Very nice spring flowering filler plant. I like the idea of planting them with hostas to give a little interest while the hostas are getting themselves growing.

Positive tabasco On May 2, 2011, tabasco from Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

As noted by others the Spanish Bluebell can be invasive in some garden environments and in the UK is said to be crowding out the historic native English Bluebell and is of national concern to British horticulturalists. In our zone 6 (Cincinnati Ohio) garden I would not call it 'invasive' but rather a sturdy reliable spring bloomer.

We plant these bluebells along the woodland edge where shade often prevails and the rabbits and deer graze but ignore this plant. We also have used it in dry areas where it gets along quite happily, which I guess makes sense since this variety was originally found in Spanish and Portuguese dry rocky environments.

Our Spanish bluebells are a welcome addition and bloom with the pagoda dogwoods, columbines, spring blooming clematis, azaleas, bleeding hearts, ajuga and median bearded (early) iris in late April and early May.

We planted ours about five years ago and have dug and divided them one time to make more clusters around the yard. We originally planted pink, blue and white (from Van Engelens) but now only the blue have survived.

Negative Ficurinia On May 17, 2010, Ficurinia from Portland, OR wrote:

I love plants, but I stop loving them when they take over my garden. This one was an unexpected and unwanted guest that ended up EVERYWHERE! Stay away from it!!!

Positive Jeanniegardener On May 8, 2010, Jeanniegardener from Lisle, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are flowering now (May 8, 2010) along the edges in our Hosta Garden. They have been in the same small clumps evenly spaced for 16 years. We love them!

Positive bonehead On Nov 25, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Lovely as an underplanting to lilacs. They are very eager, and care should be given to their placement. I use them with daffodils and ferns for a nice transition.

Negative anelson77 On May 12, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These are weedy in Seattle and cannot be removed easily. In shady places they spread pretty fast. They do look nice in May, but I would not plant unless you are sure you don't want to grow anything else, ever.

Positive DayBloomer On Apr 3, 2009, DayBloomer from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautiful little plant. My mother always had it in her beds and I keep them too. I've never had trouble with them taking over in my zone 8, they stay in nice little clumps here. They come in blue, pink and white and are adorable when blooming.

Negative Lseattle On Apr 30, 2007, Lseattle from Renton, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

A bought a house recently in the Seattle area and the yard is over run by wood hyacinth. It is a pretty plant but I consider it a noxious weed in my yard. It has taken over the garden beds and spread into the woods next to my property and overwhelming the native ground covers. It forms giant masses of bulbs and also must spread by seed because it turns up everywhere. Unless you dig out every piece of the bulb, it will regrow. I have left bits of torn-up bulb on the driveway all winter and the bits sprout and flower in the spring right on the concrete! I don't believe in spraying herbicides but I might for this one. It is out of control. I prefer my native plants to this foreigner.

Positive TBGDN On Feb 11, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A good mid-spring flowering bulb which multiplies (for me at least) very quickly. They come in a range of pastel colors including whites, pink/rose and light to mid-blue. I have seen some major plant nurseries selling these as 'English Bluebells' when in fact they originated in Spain, and are more properly named 'Spanish Bluebells' or commonly called 'Wood Hyacinths'. Mine came from the Netherlands, so European countries have had this plant around for a long, long time no doubt. I like to keep perennial gardens in bloom with a variety of mixed plants, and this one is a good choice.

Positive sterhill On Apr 17, 2005, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Atlanta - I have this in very dry shade under some huge sweet gum trees. I have heard them called "brutes" as they do multiply, but in a woodland setting I think this is a positive feature. They are so lovely in their blue masses. I do not find them anymore "invasive" than iris or daylily.

Positive lmelling On Apr 17, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have a small patch of these given to me by my mother-in-law a number of years ago. They do well even in an well drained but moist area with clay soil in part shade. The dainty, lavendar bell shaped flowers are a delight in late spring!

Positive angelam On Apr 16, 2005, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

This plant does much better in warmer areas than the English bluebell. It is larger and a bit stiffer in its growth habit, a lovely blue in a Spring garden. Mine seem quite intolerant of shade, they'll flower in full sun, but anywhere where shade has developed in Spring they stop flowering, though still produce lush foliage. They are very easy to move.

Positive sycrasy On Apr 2, 2004, sycrasy from Atlanta, GA wrote:

Fabulous freely-spreading perennial. Naturalized in Atlanta city limits, can be seen popping up in the most unkempt overgrown yards around town.

Has naturalized in my shady, wet back yard. Blooms a couple weeks earlier in full sun, but spreads into shady areas first. Heavy bloom late March early April; very fragrant flowers. Clumps of vivid green daffodil like foliage about 12-18" tall with a two foot spread send up as many as eight flower stalks with a dozen blooms apiece.

The "native" type here in Atlanta holds a deep purple bloom. Very sweet plant pops up with the daffodils in spring and blooms shortly after. In fact a couple of tall, silvery-blue (foliage) daffodils and the wood hyacinth come up in a mixed patch and the combination is smashing. Nature has a great eye for drama...

Positive lupinelover On May 31, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

A wonderful addition to a woodland garden. They come in a variety of colors, and by allowing them to naturalize, some variations can occur. Plant some late-emerging perennials or annuals to help mask the bare spaces when they go dormant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska
Alameda, California
Garberville, California
Granite Bay, California
Long Beach, California
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Niantic, Connecticut
Torrington, Connecticut
Keystone Heights, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Dallas, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Boise, Idaho (2 reports)
Chicago, Illinois
Lincoln, Illinois
Lisle, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Waterman, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Portland, Maine
Arlington, Massachusetts
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Revere, Massachusetts
Rowley, Massachusetts
Garden City, Michigan
Lincoln Park, Michigan
Westland, Michigan
Freehold, New Jersey
Jersey City, New Jersey
Vineland, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Croton On Hudson, New York
Ithaca, New York
New Paltz, New York
Burlington, North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2 reports)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Circleville, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Coshocton, Ohio
Grove City, Ohio
Niles, Ohio
Tipp City, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Dallas, Oregon
Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Turner, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Christiana, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Bedford, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tremonton, Utah
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia (2 reports)
Roanoke, Virginia
Winchester, Virginia
Brady, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Renton, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)
Stanwood, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
New Lisbon, Wisconsin

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