Growing to a height of 1 to 2 feet, the pale fleshy stems and large floppy leaves are weak and watery, and quickly die back to the ground after blooming. Virginia bluebells are native to Illinois where they grow in most counties. The flowers bloom from March to May, depending on the weather, and they last for about three weeks.
The springtime flowers are worth the long winter wait, she added.
“It taps into our senses,” Lyttle said of the bluebell emergence. “Not only does it look beautiful, it has a sweet smell that fills the area. You will also hear buzzing from flower to flower. The fuzzy bumblebees love bluebells. And no worries, the bees want nothing to do with you because they are too busy filling up their bellies with delicious nectar and bringing pollen back home.”
According to the University of Illinois Extension, Virginia bluebells spread by self-seeding and by underground rhizomes; the plants go dormant in summer.
But while they’re in bloom in spring, bluebells attract a wide audience because they are approachable, Lyttle said. “They are tall, pretty and colorful. They don’t have horns, and they are not poisonous.”