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Campanula (kam-PAN-you-luh)

Common Name:  Bellflower

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to rich, well-drained

Moisture:  Average

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  3 - 8


Campanula 'Cherry Bells'

Campanula 'Samantha'

Campanula Description and Cultural Information

Campanula carpatica, Carpathian harebell. 8" - 18". This is a slow spreading species making mounds of bright green leaves covered with masses of 2" cup shaped flowers from spring through summer. 'Blue Clips' has medium-blue flowers. 'White Clips' has white flowers on slower growing, compact plants. The main downside to these plants is that they have a tendency to fall open in the center right after peak bloom. If this happens they can be lifted and planted a little deeper or trimmed almost to the ground after flowering to encourage them to form a new mound from the center. A much better choice that is very similar to this species is a hybrid called Campanula 'Samantha'. It slowly creeps underground to form a wonderful groundcover with violet-blue flowers that bloom for several weeks on a 12" high plant. Zones 3 - 8.

Campanula glomerata, clustered bellflower. 1' - 3'. This plant is an upright bellflower with royal-purple flowers in clusters above lance-shaped foliage in late spring and early summer. 'Superba', with deep blue-violet flowers, is somewhat invasive but not nearly as invasive as the species. Zones 3 - 8.

Campanula persicifolia, peach-leaved bellflower. 1' - 3'. One of my favorite, long-blooming summer perennials, these bellflowers have a profusion of bell-shaped, blue-violet flowers on tall stems above narrow foliage. 'Alba' has white flowers. 'New Giant' has large, blue-violet flowers. 'Moerheimii' has double white flowers. 'Beau Belle' has double purplish-white flowers. Zones 3 - 7.

Campanula punctata. 1 - 2'. This is an unusual bellflower from Japan and Siberia that is unique but can be rather invasive. It has large, tubular bells of creamy white or mauve flushed with pink. Best grown in sandy soil in full sun. 'Cherry Bells' has pendulous, cheryy-red flowers edged in white and it grows from vigorous underground runners. 'Kent Belle' has large blue flowers on 24" stems and the plants are generally clumping. 'Sarastro' is similar to 'Kent Belle' but slightly shorter. 'Plum Wine' has light pink flowers above purple tinted foliage. Zones 4 - 8.

Campanula rotundifolia, bluebells-of-Scotland. 8" - 12". Dainty bright blue clusters cover slender stems on this clump forming bellflower. Zones 2 - 7.

Campanula trachelium, nettle-leafed bellflower. 2'. This plant has wide bells carried on stems above thick sets of leaves. 'Bernice' is a double violet-blue and one of the best Campanula you can grow. 'Snowball' has double white flowers. Zones 4 - 8.

How to Grow:  Most bellflowers are easy to be grow in any average to rich, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade but they also like a little shade during the hottest part of the day. Clustered bellflower prefers moist soil and will tolerate some shade. Peach-leaved bellflowers will tolerate a fair amount of shade but may not bloom as well.

Landscape uses:  Campanula carpatica is a good choice for rock gardens or as an edging plant. Use the taller bellflowers at the middle or back of the border. Plant clustered bellflower in a moist spot with Siberian iris, Ligularia, or ferns. Campanula punctata should be planted with caution as some varieties are highly invasive, but in the right setting the flowers are fantastic.

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