Photographer: Oxford Scientific
Bluebells have evolved to take advantage of the heavy leaf coverings typical of beech-dominated forests such as this one at Ashridge in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Bluebells flower early, typically in April and May, and so thrive ahead of the lowering of the light levels caused by the heavy summer-leaf canopy. This then restricts later-flowering competitive plants, giving bluebell seeds space to thrive in the next spring, quickly spreading to a dense carpet such as here.
From The Life & Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell. Image © Oxford Scientific