The delicate, nodding blue bells of Harebells are one of the prettiest additions to our hedgerows, grasslands, hillsides, sand dunes and cliffs. Flowering between July and September, Harebells grow on dry, mostly undisturbed, ground, but are tolerant of all kinds of habitats. It is regularly visited by bumblebees and Honey Bees, providing an autumnal source of nectar for these insects. In Scotland, this is often the plant referred to as 'bluebell'.
How to identify
A creeping perennial, the Harebell has long, trailing stems with small, club-shaped leaves at the base. Its stem leaves are much more elongated, and its blue, bell-shaped flowers hang in clusters at the tips of the stems.
Where to find it
Very common on the mainland of the UK mainland, but less so in Northern Ireland.
When to find it
How can people help
Like many of our native plants, Harebells are an excellent source of nectar and pollen for all kinds of insects including bumblebees and butterflies. To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting native flower species in your borders to provide a 'nectar-cafe'. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.