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DescriptionThe bluebell, popularly thought of as Britain's national flower (4), is a bulbous spring flowering plant (5). When growing en masse in woodlands it creates a dazzling display of brilliant blue, which is not only a great wild flower phenomenon, but also a British speciality (4). The fragrant bell-shaped flowers stand upright when they are in bud, but hang downwards, nodding in the breeze when fully open; they may be violet-blue, white or even pink on rare occasions, and have cream-coloured anthers. They are arranged in clusters of 4-16 on flower spikes (known as racemes), which have drooping tips (2). The narrow leaves are deep green, and grow to 45 cm in length (2). The unusual specific part of the scientific name 'non-scripta' means 'unlettered', and distinguishes this species from the hyacinth, which in Greek mythology sprang from the blood of the prince Hyacinthus as he died; in his grief at this tragedy, the God Apollo wrote 'AIAI' ('alas') on the petals of this flower (4).