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May 8, 2008 / Bo Mackison

A Bluebell Walk in the Woods

Ephemeral Wildflowers by Woodland Path

This path is lined with masses of Virginia Bluebells, and provides a spectacular show when in full bloom. This is especially true in the Midwest where the plant seems happiest, even though it bears the name of Virginia.

It grows in moist and nutrient rich hardwood forests, not only in Wisconsin, but in the northern and eastern quarter of the United States and in southern Ontario.

Virginia Bluebells in Wisconsin

Virginia Bluebells are fairly large, tall plants that bear clusters of showy, trumpet flower clusters. The flower buds begin tinted a delicate pale pink and then deepen to a medium blue when in full flower. They aren’t as ephemeral as the earlier woodland wildflowers, and stay in bloom several weeks. The entire plant does disappear from the forest floor, though, by mid summer.

This species of bluebell was used medicinally by Native American cultures, usually made into a strong tea for the treatment of consumption and whooping cough, and was also used as a general tonic.


  1. Gandalf / May 8 2008 6:55 am

    The picture of the bluebells is magnificant, but the shot of the path is more intriguing. It’s an enticing view. It makes me want to walk around the bend to see what’s up there.

  2. jeanabaena / May 8 2008 8:38 am

    wow! the second picture is beautiful. i love the colors and the details and the focus of the picture – including the slightly curled leaves just out of focus in the background. once again, very nice job. 🙂 you should make prints of that one. or maybe of both as a set.

  3. Anna Surface / May 8 2008 10:09 am

    Beautiful bluebells. I love their color and how the flowers cascade down as bells. Really nice capture in the 2nd photo. 🙂

  4. Grace / May 8 2008 1:44 pm

    That looks like a path I could walk for hours and hours. I LOVE the bluebells! I don’t see them out here very much…they’re really delightful! Looks like a lovely hat for a faery 😉

  5. amelia / May 9 2008 3:50 pm

    Pretty color of blue. The picture closeup is cool.

  6. Bernie Kasper / May 10 2008 1:42 pm

    Beautiful images Bo, I absolutely love Bluebells they are one of my favorite wildflowers, and you definitely captured them nicely !!

  7. aullori / May 12 2008 12:30 pm

    These bluebells are so pretty. It makes me think that my version must not be far behind in blooming. (I hope) Meanwhile, beautiful shot. It’s amazing how thick they are on that path! I never find them like that over here!

  8. Bo / May 14 2008 8:38 am

    Gandalf – It is a lovely, peaceful walk

    Jeanne – a set would be a fun idea

    Anna – they are a remarkable color of blue, thanks

    Grace – a faery hat, delightful!

    amelia – thanks

    Bernie – seems like we’ve got much of the same flora, Bernie, except you have waterfalls. 🙂

    lori – are yours similar. I’ll look up the western version…

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