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1028 of 1160 nominations



Is this an icon?



“And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood.”
(A Shropshire Lad)

Nowhere in the world do bluebells grow in such abundance as in England. From the beginning of April until the end of May, English woodlands come alive with carpets of blue, creating not only a beautiful sight but a heavenly smell. Poets from Shelley to A.E. Housman (who is quoted above) have been inspired by these modest little flowers, voted as the nation’s most popular wild flower. It is thought that their common name, “bluebell”, was given to them by the Romantic poets of the 19th century, but their Latin name Hyancinthoides nonscripta relates them to the myth of beautiful Hyacinthus who was killed by Zephyrus, the God of the Wind, in a fit of jealousy. This may be why the flower has come to symbolize grief and mourning. A poetic and rather melancholy icon of England, then?

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

When I’m working abroad for any length of time and think of England I imagine a morning walk with a view of the Downs and a field of bluebells. I accept it’s essentially a romantic vision but to me it is England. I always think of that wonderful scene in 'Howard’s End' with the field of bluebells.

Judy Parfitt

Bluebells are the most beautiful spring flower in the world. I live in Oz and have done for 30 years. The memory of a spring day in the bluebell woods never leaves me. I have seen some in Christchurch N.Z. in their springtime, they were so lovely but not as abundant. I long to return to my homeland in spring one more time.
Joyce Pascoe

There is nothing more English than carpets of beautiful bluebells in late spring. They fill our senses with the promise of summer to come!
Ann Hargrave

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer