Map showing British distribution of Hyacinthoides non-scripta.

Map showing the British distribution of Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Green and yellow dots represent pre-1987 records, red dots represtent 1987 to 1999 records, pink dots represent 2000 to 2009 records. This is a static version of an interactive hectad map, available at www.bsbimaps.org.uk.


Hyacinthoides non-scripta is widely distributed along the Atlantic fringe of western Europe, 

  • from the mountains of the Sistema Central in Iberia in the south
  • northwards through western France, the British Isles and Ireland
  • reaching its northern limit in Scotland
  • then more sparsely scattered eastwards to the Netherlands.

Hyacinthoides non-scripta is locally naturalised 

  • further east in Central Europe 
  • in North America
    • introduced by European settlers

In the British Isles it is essentially lowland but extends up to 685m on Craig-yr-Ysfa in North Wales (Preston, Pearman & Dines, 2002).


The British Isles is often cited as containing the majority of the world’s population of this species, which has helped drive concern over its continued survival here in the face of aggressive hybridisation.

In terms of area, or extent of occupancy, the extra-British western European range is broader but the species is sparsely and very unevenly distributed throughout that and never achieves the density of population seen in the British Isles.

Although the species can spread locally very efficiently by vegetative means (small bulbils forming around the main bulb), population genetic studies have shown that the major mechanism of reproduction is sexual, by seed, which is abundantly produced in most years.