I’m sure all of us like them too. So, what is your favorite flower species?
Mine is the exceptional Campanula. It’s an ornamental garden plant whose flowers are commonly blue and have a distinct shape of a bell. (That’s why it’s also called bellflowers!)
Now if you also love this spectacular bellflower, follow me to find out every fascinating thing about it and how to have this distinct plant in your garden.
- Different Types of Campanula
- Campanula Portenschlagiana (Wall Bellflower)
- Campanula Americana (Tall Bellflower)
- Campanula Carpatica (Tussock Bellflower)
- Campanula Glomerata (Clustered Bellflower)
- Campanula Lactiflora (Milky Bellflower)
- Campanula Latiloba
- Campanula Medium (Canterbury Bells)
- Campanula Persicifolia (Peach-Leaved Bellflower)
- Campanula Poscharskyana (Trailing Bellflower)
- Campanula Rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower)
- Campanula Rotundifolia (Harebell)
- Campanula Trachelium (Nettle-Leaved Bellflower)
- How to Grow Campanula in your Garden
Different Types of Campanula
First of all, we will discuss some common types of Campanula bellflowers available.
Do you know that this genus includes more than 300 plants? Wow! And these plants vary from perennial to biennial and annual. Besides, the size, color, as well as the shape of each type, is quite different.
But of course, we don’t have enough time to learn about all of them. So today, I will only focus on the 12 most popular varieties of the genus Campanula.
Campanula Portenschlagiana (Wall Bellflower)
The first member of the family Campanula that I will show you today is the evergreen C. portenschlagiana. Originated from the Dalmatian mountains in Croatia, the plant is also called Dalmatian bellflower. Another common name of this one is wall bellflower.
This one is a perennial, low-growing, and robust species. It covers only a small area of a few centimeters, usually grows on molds. The best time to visually appreciate its beauty would be around the end of summer.
The wall bellflower thrives with wide-open foliage and funnel-shaped flowers. Typically, the flowers are dark purple or blue and have five petals in total.
One of the most commonly-produced plants in this group is the C. portenschlagiana “Miss Melanie”. This violet-blue bellflowers have just shown up in the market recently but have attracted many gardeners. This is thanks to its extended bloom time, small sizes, and compact growth habit.
By the way, I wrote a more thorough article about this energetic Campanula portenschlagiana (insert link). Read it if you want to know more surprising things about this little bellflower.
Now let’s come to the second plant on the list. As suggested from its name, this type of Campanula is most common in the USA. You can easily find it across the country where the environment is moist.
The Americana is generally categorized as an annual plant (it is also considered as a biennial plant by some other people) Since it also has the name “tall bellflowers”, this one can reach up to 6 inches high in the best condition.
This tall bellflower can healthily grow in the wild with light blue or violet flowers. Therefore, it’s not difficult to collect the flower’s seeds for planting.
A unique thing about this species is the shape of its flowers. As you can see from the picture above, the flowers tend to open widely into a flat form rather than a bell shape.
There are a lot more mind-blowing things about this tall bellflower. Find out in my detailed article here!
Does this one look strange to you? I guess no. This C. carpatica is most famous as a decorative tool. It’s not unfamiliar to come across this flower above the beds, outside the doors, or beside the streets.
This perennial plant is native to the Carpathian mountains in Central Europe. This is also the origin of its name. But most of us may know it under the name tussock bellflower.
Now you may wonder why it’s widely used in decorations.
Well, the answer lies in its extraordinary shape. Unlike the other bell-shaped Campanula flowers, this one looks more like a princess dress from a fairy tale. So miraculous!
Another exciting thing about this species is that although it only grows at a low height, its stem can reach up to 30 inches wide. Therefore, it’s also included in the herbaceous plants.
Want to learn more about this adorable carpatica bellflowers? Visit my complete article here!
Campanula Glomerata (Clustered Bellflower)
Here’s another perennial herbaceous plant in the family Campanula. This C. glomerata also has the name clustered bellflower. Why?
Look at the picture above! Can you tell me what is special about this flower? They prefer to grow as a group and each group can contain as much as 15 members (or flowers).
The eye-catching flowers of the glomerata come in two colors: violet-blue and white. Although the structure of the flowers is complicated, its stem is simple with an erect form that can grow up to 35 inches tall.
The flowers can bloom for 3 weeks in moist soils from late spring to early summer. It’s also ideal for storing the cut flowers in a vase. Although, the lifespan would only be about 2 weeks, so that’s something you should take into account.
If you want to learn more about this plant as well as how to grow it, visit my full article about the charming Campanula Glomerata.
Next on the list is the C. lactiflora. This herbaceous perennial plant is also known as milky bellflower because of the milky sap in its stems. And in Latin, “lactiflora” means “milk”.
At a closer look, the milky bellflower looks like an open star. When blooming, the flowers appear on the stems in large conical clusters. Usually, the color is either mainly white, or with a dash of blue. But recently, scientists have developed various cultivars with higher diversity of colors.
The size of the plant is of medium with about 1.2 meters on average. It commonly blooms from mid to late summer. And in some preferable cases, it can self-fertile. However, the results aren’t always the same.
The best thing about this bellflower is its romantic usage. The attractive appearance of the milky bellflower gives it a position beside roses – the symbol of love. Therefore, if you don’t like boring roses, give this one a try.
For further information about the lactiflora, click here to read my thorough article.
The next type in today’s list is the distinctive C. latiloba. This one is an evergreen perennial plant in the family Campanula.
The unique thing about this species is the clump formation. The flowers grow densely along the upright stem. At an average rate, the stem can be up to 90 centimeters high.
The plant typically has a blooming period in summer time (or July to September to be exact). It can freely grow in full sun or semi-shade as long as the soil is moist enough. Just like the lactiflora, this species can also self-seed under excellent conditions.
The reason for its self-seeding is its hermaphrodite. What does hermaphrodite mean?
It means that the flower has both male and female organs. Therefore, it can fertilize itself. Among Campanula bellflower, this characteristic is considered to be uncommon.
Also, if you need more information about this attractive bellflower, read my article about Campanula latiloba here.
This is one of the most well-known Campanula bellflowers. C. medium is a biennial plant, but in some regions, it’s an annual. The species appears in many European countries and North America.
When talking about Campanula bellflowers, people often take this plant as an example. Why? Well, because its flowers have a PERFECT bell shape.
As shown in the picture, the Canterbury bells come in a variety of colors, from pure white to light purple and pale pink. The flowers bloom through the fall.
The stem has spiky hair and a unique reddish-brown color. The lower stem of the plant has toothed leaves with a length of about 5 to 6 inches. Meanwhile, the upper stem has smaller leaves with no edge.
Love this type of bellflower? Visit my detailed article to find out more fantastic facts about this famous Campanula Medium.
Campanula Persicifolia (Peach-Leaved Bellflower)
What will we have next?
It’s the enchanting C. persicifolia. This one is another clump-forming plant in the genus Campanula. It’s most likely to see its presence in the Alps and some other mountain ranges in Europe.
The flowers are outward-facing and can be lilac-blue or white. The shape of the buds resembles a teacup rather than a bell. But this is still not the best part!
The most outstanding thing about this species is the leaves. Growing on the sturdy stems, the basal leaves are narrow and bright green with short stalks. Just like the leaves of the peach – so comes the name Peach-leaved bellflower!
Another surprising fact about those leaves is that they always wither before the flowers start to bloom. It’s such a pity that we can’t have both the elegant flowers and the cute leaves at the same time.
Now if you want to know how to have this species in your garden, visit my article about this graceful Campanula persicifolia.
Campanula Poscharskyana (Trailing Bellflower)
Let’s continue with the stunning C. poscharskyana. This plant is a trailing perennial from Yugoslavia.
This robust species can survive through both cold and warm climate. When winter comes, you can cut it down and store inside the house. Then, wait until it’s spring to replant it. Awesome!
What about its flower? Do you think it looks like a bell?
Well, probably not. It looks a lot like an alluring star in the shade of lavender-blue.
Here’s the best part:
Those tiny leaves of the trailing bellflowers are EDIBLE. They can be excellent dressings for your salads. What can be more appealing than a plant that can both decorate your house and make out delicious dishes?
Are you in love with it? If so, you may also love my full article about this exceptional Campanula poscharskyana.
Campanula Rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower)
The next plant that I’ll introduce to you today is the C. rapunculoides, also known as creeping bellflowers. Why does it have these names?
Rapunculoides. Rapunzel. Can you see the similarity?
Yes, the “Tangled” princess is named after this species. In the original story, Rapunzel’s father stole this plant from a magic garden to feed his pregnant wife.
And for the name creeping flower, it’s probably because of the drooping growth of the flowers. These lavender to purple-blue flowers all face down the ground.
In the whole picture, it reminds us of the extremely long hair of Rapunzel. (Maybe this is why people pick this flower to name her)
Another remarkable thing about this plant is that many parts of it are edible. These parts include the slightly hairy, triangular, and narrow leaves. Also, the shoots and roots can be brilliant treats for your meals.
And finally, for more details about this magical Campanula rapunculoides, please click here.
Campanula Rotundifolia (Harebell)
This one is a perennial wildflower in the genus Campanula. The C. rotundifolia commonly appears in the Northern Hemisphere such as Canada, the United States, and Great Britain.
On the erect stem of this plant are the bright green and rounded leaves, sometimes a little bit toothed. These leaves are either heart-shaped or linear on some parts of the plant.
What about the flowers?
Don’t let their slender look fool you! These violet-blue flowers are sturdy as hell! As I said in the beginning, this species is a wildflower. It’s so strong that it can even thrive in harsh regions like dry grasslands or rock crevices.
Did this plant amaze you? There are still more astounding facts about this harebell. Click here (insert link) to know.
Campanula Trachelium (Nettle-Leaved Bellflower)
For the final species on the list, I’ll bring to you the herbaceous perennial C. trachelium. Interesting facts, people also call it Nettle-leaved bellflower which is obviously due to its similar shape.
This plant grows on the unbranched and square-edged stems. These stems usually have a reddish color. Along with them are the deeply-toothed and nettle-like leaves.
The most noteworthy characteristic of this bellflower is its hairy texture. Thin hairs are growing along the whole plant, from the stems and leaves to the lilac-blue flowers.
Here’s another extraordinary thing about this Campanula:
According to some beliefs, C. trachelium is an effective cure for sore throat. Therefore, the plant also has the folk name throatwort, which means “sore throat remedy”.
In case you want to learn more about this outstanding bellflower, I also wrote a complete article here. (insert link)
How to Grow Campanula in your Garden
If you love these marvelous bellflowers, you may want to try planting them in your home garden. Well, each of them has some special requirements for growing, of course.
But still, there are some usual practices that you can apply to raise all members of the Campanula family. What are they?
Scroll down to find out my planting guide!
Preparation for Planting Campanula
Campanula is one of the effortless plants to grow in the world. The conditions needed to raise these spectacular flowers are simple.
Firstly, about the ideal temperature, bellflowers thrive best at -30℉ and higher. Also, the plants can tolerate colder climate under the best care.
These delicate bellflowers are happy in the full sun and well-drained soil. They only need medium moisture for blooming. These little plants can even survive through seasons of drought.
Another good news is that there is no requirement for the pH level. The Campanula is still okay in the most acidic environment.
Planting your Bellflowers
Now everything is ready. Let’s start planting!
There are two common ways to grow Campanula bellflowers: from seeds and rhizomes. I’ll show you how to plant the flowers using each method.
For seedling, the best time to sow is in the spring, after the frosty winter has gone. Although the genus Campanula can survive through the cold with enough protection, it’s still hard for the frail seeds to sprout in such severe conditions.
Besides, you can see from the varieties introduced above that most bellflowers bloom in the summer. Therefore, it’s best to sow them in spring so that they would be ready when summer comes.
And don’t forget to supply enough moisture for the seedlings. At this vulnerable time, they will need the best things as much as possible.
Things are much straightforward when it comes to rhizomes. All you need to do is to cut the rhizomes from their parent plants right at the root node. Then, bury them into the ground and grow.
In this case, the plant has already had the root for further development. Therefore, it may not need any extra help to bloom. However, don’t be too careless as the plant hasn’t fully grown yet.
Care for Campanula
Again, bellflowers are tough as nails, so you won’t need to be an expert in gardening to raise these eye-catching flowers. But here are some valuable caring tips that you may need.
For the best outcomes, cut down the flowers in late fall and raise them indoors through the winter. And when the spring comes, bring them outside and replant.
Besides, you may want a longer blooming time. A useful technique is to trim off the seed heads to focus all nutrients for the flowers. This one is called deadheading.
That’s the end of my introduction about the incredible Campanula bellflowers. I hope you have learned everything you need to know about the 12 distinctive types of this genus.
And did you manage in planting these gorgeous flowers to bring some impressive contrast to your garden? Tell me in the comment section below.
As usual, don’t forget to give me a like and share to inspire my work. Thank you for your support!