The bluebells are currently blooming in moist, woodland areas throughout our region and this past weekend provided perfect weather to view the wildflower.
The bluebell is a native perennial plant that can grow up to 2.5 feet tall and blooms in the spring, before the canopy of leaves from the trees above blocks out the sun light. The plant thrives in rich, moist soil and colonizes large areas, often along floodplains of streams and rivers. After the spring bloom, the plant becomes dormant and disappears during the summer, fall, and winter.
The trails along Bull Run in the Manassas National Battlefield Park and Bull Run Regional Park were lined with blue, violet, and pink this past weekend from the bluebell bloom. The flowers should continue to bloom this week into next weekend. Some of the flowers show minor frost damage from our latest freeze, but most of the plants and flowers appear to be quite healthy.
The colder than normal weather we experienced during the last half of winter and early spring delayed the bloom of the bluebells compared to past years. To analyze the timing of this year’s bloom to recent years, I dug into my photo archives.
This year, I photographed blooming bluebells on April 19. Last year, I photographed the bloom on April 13. During 2012 and 2010, I shot the bloom on April 3. I missed the bloom in 2011. Just like with the cherry blossom bloom on the Tidal Basin, the timing of the bluebell bloom can vary by several weeks depending upon the weather.
Let us know if you know of other areas where the bluebells are currently blooming.
The bluebells of Bull Run (2012)