Bluebells bloom along the bank of Bull Run as a pair of geese swim in the water, April 3, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Tidal Basin has the cherry blossoms but Bull Run has the bluebells. Bull Run, the site of two major Civil War battles, is home to the the bluebells which seem to draw an increasing amount of attention each year.

The bluebells carpet the forest floor in patchy areas along Bull Run during the early spring. It is a native perennial plant that can grow up to 2.5 feet tall and prefers moist, wooded areas. The flowers in the bud stage are light pink but become light blue with maturity. The foliage of the bluebells dies down by mid-summer. The bluebells prefer shade or partial sun.

Read below for more bluebell information and photos.

Bluebells with the Stone Bridge in the background, April 1, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)

I first noticed the bluebells many years ago while running through the Manassas Battlefield Park and Bull Run Regional Park. Certain areas along the blue trail were carpeted with blue. Quite fitting, I suppose.

The bluebells in our area typically bloom in early-to-mid April. This year, they bloomed quite early and began to peak by April 1. By April 3, a few flowers were starting to fade to brown.

Bluebells grow in many other places outside of Bull Run and they are popular in northern Europe. Supposedly, Britain grows more than half of the world’s bluebells. At least, we have our own little population of bluebells here in the Washington area.

More bluebell information and photos by the National Park Service can be found here The Manassas Battlefield Park also has a Facebook page with bluebell photos. I did a photo shoot of the bluebells two years ago for CWG which is located here.

Where have you seen bluebells?

A bluebell close-up with Bull Run blurred in the background, April 1, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)