I love flowers from the genus Campanula. The common name for these flowers always has ‘bell’ in it somewhere—Scottish Bluebells, Clustered Bellflowers, Canterbury Bells—and they are usually blue, though they do also come in white and occasionally, pink. As you might guess, the flowers are bell shaped, and many of the species are hardy in our area.
There are over 300 species of Campanula, and many sub-species, native to the whole Northern Hemisphere, but with the most diversity in the Mediterranean region. They include annuals, biennials and perennials and vary from dwarf alpine gems a mere 2 inches tall, to large woodland species growing six feet tall. Some form very neat mounds in the garden, while others are rampant spreaders. You will find descriptions and photographs of several varieties on the Bluestone Perennials website.
Since they originate in so many diverse regions, the growing conditions vary considerably, but I have found that in my Chiloquin garden I can grow many different bellflowers by giving them regular water and some sun. It’s also fortunate that they like alkaline soil, because that is what I have. At present these are doing well for me here but I’m always on the lookout for a new bellflower.
Campanula glomerata (Clustered Bellflower), a tall clumping variety with clusters of deep blue-violet bells.
Campanula ‘Kent Belle’ (a hybrid variety), a tall clumping variety with dark blue bells.
Campanula persicifolia (Peachleaf Bellflower) a tall clumping variety with pale blue bells.
Campanula medium (Canterbury Bells) a tall biennial with large bells of blue, pink or white.
Campanula trogerae (Turkish Bellflower), a short mounding variety with large white bells.
Campanula cochleariifolia ‘Bavarian Blue’ (Fairy Thimbles), a short, mounding variety with small blue bells.
Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’ (Carpathian Bellflower), a short mounding variety with large blue bells.
Campanula punctata (Spotted Bellflower), a short rapidly spreading variety with pale reddish-pink bells.