produces tubular flowers with a cylindrical lower part and a more open upper section, with five lobes. Buds are pinkish purple, but the flowers gradually turn blue when opening, starting at the top, then become pinkish once more as they start to wither. The stalk is stout and thick, and has lengthwise grooves. The large, bluish-green leaves have a slightly rough surface and tiny whitish projections along the edges, hence the species name ciliata. Flowers are supported by a ring of pointed, greenish-purple bracts.
Plants grow singly in some locations but can also form great colonies, covering the ground for many square feet. The large flower clusters tend to hang down, to one side, but the stems remain erect. The interior of each flower has a fringe of fine hairs. This species is amongst the tallest of the bluebells.