Campanula - Bellflower, Canterbury Bell
DESCRIPTION: This is a group of annual, biennial and perennial plants, which are found naturally in many countries of the Northern Hemisphere. Campanulas, commonly called Bellflowers, vary in size and habit of growth. Some Bellflowers are suitable for the rock garden, some for flower borders, and some for wild or woodland gardens. Some can be grown in containers in the greenhouse or window garden. The following three are perennials. C. lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' (Milky Bellflower) is a pretty plant that grows 30 to 36 inches high with a 24-inch spread. This upright plant forms narrow, oval, green leaves along the stems and large, bunches of bell-shaped, violet-blue flowers from early summer to fall. This plant is great for a border or edge of a woodland garden in mottled sunshine. They are great as cut flowers. C. glomerata 'Superba' is a vigorous plant growing up to 30 inches high with a spread of 3 feet or more. It produces basal rosettes of oval to lance-shaped, scallop-toothed, green leaves, which also grow along the stems. Its purplish-blue flowers are large and bell-shaped and produced mainly in terminal heads in the summer. C. persicifolia 'Telham Beauty' is a beautiful plant that grows up to 3 feet high and spreads about a foot. This erect-growing plant produces mostly basal rosettes of lance-shaped, to narrow and oval, bright green leaves. Its large, swaying, bell-shaped flowers are a pretty soft blue color. They are borne in thin, upright spikes in the summer. The cut flowers last pretty long in water. Other Bellflowers will be mentioned below in the varieties section.
POTTING: These plants should be planted in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded position, 12 to 18 inches apart. The young leaves of C. persicifolia 'Telham Beauty' is susceptible to attack by slugs. C. Glomerata 'Superba' should be divided and replanted often to keep it growing actively. Some of these plants may need to be supported with stakes or some other device. All blooms should be picked off as soon as they've faded to encourage a longer flowering period. If seedpods are allowed to form, flowering will soon stop.
PROPAGATION: Perennial Bellflowers may be increased by seeds or division in the fall or spring. Seeds may be sown in a greenhouse or frame in containers filled with finely sifted, light, sandy soil. Sprinkle that same mixture very lightly over the seeds to cover. Before the seedlings become too crowded, they should be potted separately in small pots or in flats filled with two-thirds loam and one-third leaf mold and sand. When they've formed a good amount of roots they may be planted outside in a nursery border. Annual Bellflowers should be sown where they are to grow.
- C. alliariaefolia;
C. carpatica (Carpathian Bellflower);
C. glomerata (Clustered Bellflower);
C. latifolia (Broad-leaved Bellflower);
C. persicifolia (Peach-leaved Bellflower);
C. Medium (Canterbury Bell);
C. pyramidalis (Chimney Bellflower);
C. alpina (Alpine Bellflower);
C. Elatines garganica;
; C. isophylla. (There are also many named varieties of several of these kinds.)
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
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