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Campanula cespitosa
Habit: herbaceous
Origin: N Hemisphere, esp. Med. to Caucasus
Exposure: sun to light shade
USDA Zones:
Sunset Zones:
[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Asterales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Campanulaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Campanula {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Campanula is one of several genera of in the family Campanulaceae with the common name bellflower. The genus includes about 300 species and several subspecies. Distributed across temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with greatest diversity from the Mediterranean region east to the Caucasus.

The species include annual, biennial and perennial plants, and vary in habit from dwarf arctic and alpine species under 5 cm high, to large temperate grassland and woodland species growing to 2 m tall.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Campanula (Latin, little bell, from the shape of the corolla in some species). Campanulaceae. Bell- Flower. Harebell. Bluebell. A large group of attractively flowering herbs, containing some of the most popular garden plants, especially of hardy herbaceous perennials.

Annual, biennial or perennial, mostly the last, often small and tufted: root-lvs. usually larger than the st.- lvs., and often of different shape and more or less transitory: fls. blue, violet or white, sometimes yellow; calyx 5-fid; corolla 5-lobed or 5-fid; stamens 5, free; filaments wide at the base, membranaceous; stigmas 3 or 5, filiform: caps. 3-5-valved, dehiscing on the sides or (as in Fig. 762) at the base by 3-5 small valves; seeds ovate, complanate or ovoid. — Probably 250 species, nearly all in the northern hemisphere with the center of distribution in the Medit. region; about a dozen species are N. American. The species mostly inhabit swamps or moist ground, or alpine and boreal regions. Allied genera of garden value are Adenophora, Jasione, Lightfootia, Michauxia, Ostrowskia, Phyteuma, Platycodon, Specularia. Symphyandra, Trachelium, and Wahlenbergia, in which genera many species originally described as campanulas may be sought. Of these, perhaps the two best known cases are Platycodon grandiflorum, the "balloon flower," with its characteristic inflated buds, dark green, glossy, leathery lvs.; and Specularia Speculum (C. Speculum), "Venus' looking-glass," a pretty annual, which grows in the grain fields of S. Eu., and is cult, for its violet fls. with a white eye. The calyx- tube of Specularia is relatively much longer than in any campanula. The most prominent campanulas now in cult, seem to be the forms of C. Medium, C. carpatica, C. persicifolia, C. pyramidalis, C. punctata, C. pusilla (caespitosa), C. rotundifolia. Botanically. campanulas fall into two important groups, based on the presence or absence of calyx appendages. The subgenus Medium has the appendages, and Eucodon lacks them. These appendages are often small and disguised. The genus may also be thrown into two broad groups based on the dehiscence, —the subgenus Medium with capsule opening near the base, and Rapunculus with the openings near the top. For the horticulturist, the most serviceable classification is based on the use that he makes of the plants, —whether as a garden vegetable, as border plants, or as rock-garden or alpine subjects; and this is the division attempted here. In cultivation, campanulas tend to become taller and more robust, less hairy, more branched, and more floriferous. Blue is the prevailing color in the genus. A very few have white or yellowish flowers, with no blue or violet forms. Any blue or violet-flowered farm is likely to have white varieties, and double and semi-double forms are common in three or four of the most popular species. All flowers tend to become larger and more numerous on a stem. In cultivation, the three-celled species are likely to have five stigmas instead of three, and five-celled capsules, often along with normally constructed flowers on the same plant. The height is the most variable feature of all, and in the scheme below C. carpatica, C. punctata and forms of C. glomerata especially will seem wrongly placed to many. But the characters used by botanists are well-nigh useless to the gardener, and nothing but a distinction of height can bring out the two important cultural groups of campanulas. For a recent garden monography of dwarf campanulas, see Correvon, "The Garden,” 59 (1901) pp. 276, 450; 60, pp. 51, 64, 111, 161, 218.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Campanula calendar?
March: sow
April: transplant
May: flowering
June: flowering
July: flowering
August: flowering
September: flowering
October: divide

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Cultivation.—The genus Campanula is extraordinarily rich in flowering garden plants of merit. The alpine section is distinguished by a charming grace both in character of growth and size and bearing of flowers. The peach-leaved class (C. persicifolia) is characterized by the noble and beautiful form of single and semi-double blossoms carried by thin erect stems 2-3 feet high. The luster and clearness of tints of the bushy biennial Medium and calycanthema type are remarkable, while the rambling habit and the marvelous floriferousness of the varieties C. isophylla and its descendant C. Mayii, indicate the wide range of ornamental usefulness of bellflowers. Considering the good lasting qualities in a cut state and the great popularity of the flowers of long-stemmed sorts for indoor decoration, it is safe to say that campanulas will steadily gain in importance as material upon the florists' counter as well as for garden planting. The greatest curiosities are C. punctata, C. macrostyla, C. Zoysii and C. rotundifolia var. soldanellaeflora. For exhibition and for pot culture and also for large single specimens, C. pyramidalis is most used. For edgings, C. carpatica is perhaps the favorite. Of all wild forms, the best known is certainly C. rotundifolia, the true harebell, or "blue bells of Scotland." It is native in North America as well as in Europe, on rocky banks and shores. —Wherever rock-gardens are planned, alpine campanulas have become indispensable. The greater part of typical mountain inhabitants chiefly available for this purpose being spring-flowering plants, the summer flowers of campanulas are especially welcome. One of the best bellflowers for rock-gardens is C. carpatica, blue and white, with its var. compacta also in blue and white, var. caelestina, sky blue, var. pelviformis, light blue, and var. Riverslea with large dark-blue bells; but there are a number of other very handsome species possessing commercial value that deserve the attention of progressive growers. The demand is for a plant material easy to handle, resistant and free-flowering. As such may be recommended for rockeries, C. garganica and C. garganica var. hirsuta, both 4 inches high, flowers light blue. C. pusilla, in white and blue, is regarded as the hardiest low-growing alpine bellflower. Excellent effect may be secured from a number of the garden hybrids, when rightly employed; plantations of C. Wilsonii, cross between C. pulla and C. turbinata, dark blue, 6 inches tall, and C. Fergusonii and C. Hendersonii, 12 to 18 inches, all blooming freely from late in June to early August, are good examples. Campanula glomerata var. acaulis, a clustered-flowering low-growing form, violet-blue, June and July, answers the same purpose, while C. glomerata var. dahurica, 12 to 18 inches, dark violet-blue and white, very free-flowering, is valuable also as a border plant. Other good rockery kinds are C. fragilis (which needs protection, but makes a good pot-plant), C. pulla in sheltered position, C. Portenschlagiana, and C. rotundifolia. Many of the larger-growing kinds are also good for the rock-garden. —The best two representatives of the biennial class, are C. Medium and C. calycanthema, both standard garden flowers. In the northern states, especially, they do exceedingly well. When used for mass effects, their full bloom becomes a prominent feature of June. The delicate shades of pink and pale lavender, the purity of the white, and the rich tints in purple and blue are a revelation. They transplant very easily, even in an advanced state of growth, and readily respond to mild forcing under glass in spring. In a cut state, they show remarkably good lasting qualities and are of excellent value as material for filling vases. A few other good biennials are C. sibirica, C. primulaefolia, C. spicata, (p. 650), C. thyrsoides.—The peach-leaved section comprises the most perfect forms of the bellflower family, although C. persicifolia has been surpassed in popular favor by the more yigorou C. grandiflora varieties in white and blue, which are really platycodons. C. isophylla, native of Italy, is not hardy in Maine and must be overwintered under glass. It is a very effective basket- and balcony-box plant, its long hanging vines being covered with large and attractive flowers in July and August. The color is a delicate light blue, while the bells of its garden descendant C. Mayii, nave a deeper shade. For the South, both are valuable acquisitions for rockeries.—Of the perennial species, according to Robert Cameron, the best border plants are the following: C. carpatica and vars. alba and turbinata; C. glomerata, especially var. dahurica; C. lactiflora; C. latifolia, especially its vars. eriocarpa and macrantha; C. nobilis (about 2 ft. in height); C. persicifolia and its numerous vars., especially the white kinds; C. punctata (about 1½ ft.); C. pyramidalis, a very showy plant when well grown, but not quite reliable in the eastern states as to hardiness, making a good pot-plant for the cool greenhouse; C. rapunculoides, which spreads rapidly and must be so placed that it will not crowd out the other plants that are near it; C. rotundifolia; C. Trachelium; C. Van Houttei, a hybrid, and one o f the best bellflowers.— Campanulas are raised from seed and also by division or cuttings. Seeds should be started early under glass. Cover very shallow, and place the shallow seed-pans near the light in an average temperature of 60°. Shade at midday while in process of germinating; avoid over-watering and "sticky" atmosphere. Transplant seedlings into flats as soon as they can be handled. Harden young plants gradually and transfer them to the open ground in May. C. Medium, C. calycanthema, and all the C. persicifolia varieties, when grown for the cut-flower trade, should be placed on beds where they are intended to be flowered and cropped the next season. They thrive best in a rather light well-manured garden soil. Some of the alpine species require a sandy humus with additions of fine limestone material. When grown for floral garden effect, the open sunny position is preferable throughout the North, while for the South half-shade at midday is likely to prolong the flowering season. Seedlings of single varieties come true to color to a high percentage. Of the semi-double and double C. persicifolia sorts, propagation is usually by division in September. C. isophylla and C. Mayii are shy seeders and are propagated by cuttings in spring. For winter protection, a light covering of straw, leaves or evergreen boughs is sufficient south of New York. In more northern parts, hardy campanulas require a uniform layer of leaves 2 to 3 inches thick. The annuals can be raised in the border by seeds sown late in April or May, or raised in the greenhouse and then transferred to the border. The best of the annuals are C. ramosissima and var. alba, C. drabifolia, C. Erinus, C. macrostyla, and C. americana. (Richard Rothe.)CH C. primulaefolia and C. spicata will be found in the supplementary list, p. 650.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Seed in spring in cold frame, or from cuttings. Sow alpine in cold frame in fall. For true offspring, you must take cuttings in the spring, or divide the plants in spring or fall.

Pests and diseases

Campanula species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Common Pug (recorded on Harebell), Dot Moth, Ingrailed Clay (recorded on Harebell), Lime-speck Pug and Mouse Moth.


Well-known species include the northern European Campanula rotundifolia, commonly known as Harebell in England and Bluebell in Scotland, and the southern European Campanula medium, commonly known as Canterbury Bells, which is a cultivated garden plant in the United Kingdom. As well as several species occurring naturally in the wild in northern Europe, there are many cultivated garden species. The species Campanula rapunculus, commonly known as Rampion Bellflower, Rampion, or Rover Bellflower, is an annual vegetable and a popular garden plant, though sometimes considered too invasive. There are blue, purple and white varieties.

Selected species:

Campanula abietina
Campanula adsurgens
Campanula affinis
Campanula alliariifolia
Campanula alpestris
Campanula alpina
Campanula alsinoides
Campanula americana
Campanula angustiflora
Campanula aparinoides - Marsh bellflower
Campanula ardonensis
Campanula argyrotricha
Campanula arvatica
Campanula aucheri
Campanula autraniana
Campanula barbata - Bearded bellflower
Campanula baumgartenii
Campanula beauverdiana
Campanula bellidifolia
Campanula betulifolia
Campanula bononiensis
Campanula caespitosa
Campanula calaminthifolia
Campanula californica
Campanula carpatica - Carpathian harebell
Campanula cashmeriana
Campanula celsii
Campanula cenisia
Campanula cervicaria
Campanula chamissonis
Campanula cochleariifolia - Fairies' thimble
Campanula collina
Campanula colorata
Campanula crenulata
Campanula dichotoma
Campanula divaricata
Campanula elatines
Campanula elegans
Campanula ephesia
Campanula erinus
Campanula excisa
Campanula exigua - Chaparral bellflower
Campanula filicaulis
Campanula formanekiana
Campanula fragilis
Campanula gansuensis
Campanula garganica - Adriatic bellflower
Campanula gelida
Campanula glomerata - Clustered bellflower
Campanula griffinii
Campanula hemschinica
Campanula hercegovina
Campanula heterophylla
Campanula imeretina
Campanula incurva
Campanula isophylla - Italian bellflower
Campanula jacobaea
Campanula kachethica
Campanula kantschavelii
Campanula kemulariae
Campanula khasiana
Campanula kolenatiana
Campanula komarovii
Campanula laciniata
Campanula lactiflora - Milky bellflower
Campanula lanata
Campanula lasiocarpa
Campanula latifolia - Giant bellflower
Campanula latiloba
Campanula lingulata
Campanula linifolia
Campanula longistyla
Campanula lusitanica
Campanula lyrata
Campanula macrorhiza
Campanula macrostyla
Campanula makaschvilii
Campanula medium - Canterbury bells
Campanula michauxioides
Campanula mirabilis
Campanula moesiaca
Campanula mollis
Campanula morettiana
Campanula oblongifolia
Campanula ochroleuca
Campanula olympica
Campanula orbelica
Campanula oreadum
Campanula orphanidea
Campanula parryi
Campanula patula - Spreading bellflower
Campanula pelviformis
Campanula peregrina
Campanula persicifolia - Peach-leaved bellflower
Campanula petraea
Campanula petrophila
Campanula phrygia
Campanula phyctidocalyx
Campanula piperi
Campanula portenschlagiana - Wall bellflower
Campanula poscharskyana - Serbian bellflower
Campanula prenanthoides
Campanula primulifolia
Campanula pulla
Campanula punctata
Campanula pyramidalis - Chimney bellflower
Campanula raddeana
Campanula raineri
Campanula ramosissima
Campanula rapunculoides - Creeping bellflower
Campanula rapunculus - Rampion bellflower
Campanula reiseri
Campanula reuteriana
Campanula rhomboidalis
Campanula rotundifolia - Harebell
Campanula rupestris
Campanula sarmatica
Campanula sartorii
Campanula saxatilis
Campanula saxifraga
Campanula scabrella
Campanula scouleri
Campanula sharsmithiae
Campanula shetleri
Campanula sibirica
Campanula spicata
Campanula spruneriana
Campanula stevenii
Campanula stricta
Campanula strigosa
Campanula teucrioides
Campanula takesimana - Korean bellflower
Campanula thessela
Campanula thrysoides
Campanula tomentosa
Campanula tommasiniana
Campanula trachelium - Nettle-leaved bellflower
Campanula trautvetteri
Campanula tridentata
Campanula uniflora
Campanula versicolor
Campanula vidalii
Campanula violae
Campanula wilkinsiana
Campanula zoysii

C. abietina, Griaeb. Rare tufted rockery plant, with slender, wiry sts. 9-15 in. high: fls. light blue, in loose branching spikes. July, Aug. E. Eu.—C. acutangula, Ler. & Lev. Dwarf, with trailing sta. from a rosette of ivy-like lvs.: st.-lvs. small, rounded and toothed: fls. solitary on each St., rather large and star-like, purple-blue. N.Spain. G.C.III. 50:220.—C. amabilis, Leicht.=C. phyctidocalyx.-C. Beaverdiana, Fomine. Slender, to 2 ft., glabrous or finely hairy: lower lvs. oblong-ovate to broadly ovate, obtuse, crenate-serrate: fls. few or solitary, slender-pedicelled, blue, 1¼ in. across. B.M. 8299. Caucasus.—C. calycanthema, Hort.=C. Medium var. calycanthema.—C. cenisia. Linn. A rare rock-plant from Mt. Cenis and other mts. of the Alps, with solitary deep blue fls. on sts. 2 in. high. Root-lvs. obovate, obtuse; st.-lvs. ovate-oblong; all lvs. sessile-entire: calyx hirsute, the lobes linear-lanceolate, a half shorter than the deeply 5-cut, spreading corolla.—-C. grandiflora, Jacq.=Platycodon.—C. Hederacea. Linn.=Wahlenbergia.—C. imeretina, Rupr. Dwarf, branching, resembling C. sibirica: lvs. small: fls. violet-blue. Caucasus.— C. incurva, Aucher= C. Leutweinii.—C. kolenatiana, Mey. Perennial, 9 in. or less: lvs. mostly radical ovate, about 1 in. long: fls. in long-stalked raceme, bluish violet, 1 in. long, inside hairy. Caucasus.—C. laciniata, Linn. Robust much-branched biennial, 2 ft., somewhat pubescent: lower lvs. 8 in. long by 2½ in. broad, deeply cut: fls. about 2 in. across, upwards of 1 in. long, pale blue. Greece. G.C. III. 40:165. —C. Leutweinii, Heldr. (C. incurva, Aucher). Perennial, simple, 1 ft. or more: lvs. cordate, white-downy, crenate, rounded at apex: fls. pale blue, 1 ½ in. long. Greece.—C. Marieaii, Hort.=Platycodon.—C. michauxoidet, Boiss. Tall-growing: fls. bluish white,the segma. recurved. Asia Minor.—C. Lamarckii, D. Dietr.= Adenophora Lamarckii.—C. nitida, Ait.=C. planiflora.—C. petraea. Linn. Biennial, with ascending st., hairy, 6-12 in.: lower lvs. lance-oblong, narrowed to the base, toothed; upper lvs. ovate and sessile: fls. small, pale yellow, in dense terminal and axillary heads. N. Italy.—C. phyctidocalyx, Boiss. & Noe (C. amabilis, Leicht.). Like C. Rapunculus in habit, 2-2½ ft.: lvs. lanceolate or cordate: fls. 10-12 in raceme, dark blue with black styles, resembling those of C. persicifolia. Armenia.—C. planiflora. Lam. (C. nitida, Ait.). Glabrous: height 3-9 in.: st. simple: lvs. sessile, leathery, shining; root-lvs. crowded in a dense rosette, ovate or obovate-obtuse, crenulate, 1½ in. long; st.-lvs. linear-lanceolate, acute, nearly entire: fls. blue or white, with double varieties, in spicate racemes; calyx-lobes ovate, acute, broad, erect. a third shorter than the broadly bell-shaped or saucer-shaped corolla. Not American, though commonly so stated. Habitat unknown. J.H. III. 33:283.—Rock-plant, for sunny position.—C. primulaefolia, Brot. St. hairy, simple, 1-3 ft.: lowest lvs., lanceolate, st.-lvs. oblong: fls. blue, downy at bottom, nearly rotate. Portugal. B.M. 4879.—-C. Raddeana, Trautv. Perennial, glabrous, 1 ft.: lvs. cordate, long-stalked: fls. large, dark purple. Caucasus.—C. speciosa, Pourr., is a rare species. Most of the plants passing under this name are likely to be C. glomerata. B.M. 2649 is C. glomerata var. speciosa. C. thyrsoidea, Lapeyr., is referred here.—C. Speculum, Linn.=Specularia.—-C. spicata, Linn. Biennial, 1-2 ft.: lvs. very narrow, nearly or quite entire: fls. 1-3, sessile, in a long interrupted spike, blue. Eu. J.H. III. 47:267.—C. sulphurea, Boiss. Annual: fls. size of those of C. rotundifolia, pale straw-color out-aide and sulfur-yellow inside. Palestine.—C. urticifolia. This name is now abandoned. Plants are likely to be C. Trachelium.CH



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