(Bellflower) There are lots of types of Campanula, all provide the border with a flowery, cottage feel. The other name for this variable bunch is Bellflower for the obvious reason as the flowers are bell-shaped. Campanula can be found throughout the UK and Europe. These are plants of open meadows and woodlands, where they grow along the dappled edges. 

Left to right: Short, spreading varieties include Campanula glomerata 'Caroline', Campanula glomerata 'Superba', Campanula 'Snow Dune', Campanula 'Pink Octopus'

Campanula Flowers

The flowers, which are always white or blue, do vary in shape and form, from deeply cupped to wide and narrow. These can be borne on tall, stiff stems or arching stems, and may face upwards, outwards or sideways. The flowers of C. glomerata even form tight, round balls. 

Left to right: Campanula that grows to medium height include Campanula punctata rubriflora, Campanula 'Sarastro', Campanula alliariifolia, Campanula persicifolia 

Campanula Leaf Shapes

The leaves, which are almost always mid-green, can be carried up the stems or spring from the crown of the plant forming rosettes as the plant grows.

Campanula Plant Shapes, Flowering Times & Heights 

In shape the plant can be stiffly upright, billowing and blousy, spreading or mounding. This makes them useful for all styles and areas of the garden. Some, such as C. punctata, will spread vigorously especially in a moist soil. Others, such as C. persicifolia, only move slowly. Campanula have a habit of flowering at the most important time of the year, just when we love our gardens most, when the weather gets warm. Most flower between June and August, but a few, such as C. 'Iridescent Bells', will bloom until September. Of the many types, C. lactiflora is the tallest, reaching up to 120cm in a good, moisture retentive soil. Next there are the mid-range growers such as C. trachelium, and finally there are the shorties, such as C. glomerata, which are ideal for the front of the border. 

Left to right: Tall varieties suitable for the back of the border are Campanula lactiflora 'Alba', Campanula latiloba 'Highcliffe Variety', Campanula latifolia var. Alba, Campanula lactiflora

Where To Grow Campanulas 

Campanulas grow in any well-drained soil that is not too dry soil or too wet. They don't mind full sun or part shade, and will blend beautifully into any border. Some varieties such as Campanula persicifolia types are evergreen and will readily seed around a border when happy.

Left to right: Campanula glomerata 'Caroline' in a bed of silvered leaved plants, Campanula lactiflora 'Loddon Anna' with Lychnis coronaria, Campanula punctata rubriflora along the front of a border, Campanula persicifolia alba with Astrantia maxima 

How To Care For Campanulas 

Easy - just cut the flower stems back after they have finished blooming. With C. lactiflora types I tend to cut back to the axel that has bloomed, allow the buds further down the stem to open. They need no fertiliser and only the tallest varieties need staking if grown in a windy position. Disease-free and easy to grow, Campanula can be divided every 3 or so years to maintain vigour.

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. Posted in A to Z of Perennials.

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