The Stone Bridge at the Manassas National Battlefield Park is the backdrop for this photo of bluebells, April 11, 2019. (Kevin Ambrose)

158 years ago this July, gunfire exploded at Bull Run during the Battle of First Manassas. This weekend, blue bell blooms are exploding into full bloom along the same stretch of Bull Run that was ravaged by war over a century and a half ago.

The bluebells are currently blooming in moist, woodland areas throughout our region, and this upcoming weekend should have warm and mostly dry weather to view the wildflower. Mild weather this past spring with a lack of frosts has provided perfect weather leading up to the bluebell bloom.

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 will be lined with blue, violet, and pink this weekend, and the flowers should continue to bloom through most of next week. Note: The photos in this post were taken Thursday evening along Bull Run near the Stone Bridge.


Bluebells are blooming near Bull Run at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. (Kevin Ambrose)

Stone masons from Bulgaria made recent repairs to the Stone Bridge which are visible in this photo. The arches were reinforced. Bluebells are blooming in the foreground. (Kevin Ambrose)

Bluebells bloom along Bull Run. (Kevin Ambrose)

Bluebells are blooming this weekend. (Kevin Ambrose)

Bluebells bloom across a wide area on the flood plain of Bull Run. (Kevin Ambrose)

Bluebells bloom near the Stone Bridge in the Manassas Battlefield Park. (Kevin Ambrose)