American Bellflower

American Bellflower, courtesy of Dr. Roger Banner, USU Extension

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roger Banner, USU Extension

Common Name(s):
American Bellflower  
Bluebell Bellflower
Bluebell
Harebell
Lady’s Thimble
Heathbells
Scientific Name:
Campanula rotundifolia L.

 

Scientific Name Synonyms:

Campanula alaskana (Gray) W. Wight ex J.P. Anders.
Campanula dubia A. DC.
Campanula heterodoxa Bong
Campanula intercedens Witasek
Campanula petiolata A. DC.
Campanula sacajaweana M.E. Peck

Symbol:

CARO2
Description:
Life Span: Perennial
Origin: Native

 

Growth Characteristics:  American bellflower is a herbaceous perennial, growing up to 18 inches tall, that reproduces by seed and by the spreading of rhizomes, often forming colonies. Flowers May to August. 

Flowers: The ½ to 1 inch blue flowers are slightly nodding and bell shaped with short lobes. The flower stalk arises 6 inches above the dark green foliage. The flowers can be either solitary or up to 15 can be attached up the stem (raceme) The sepals are 1/4-1/2 inch long; stalk of single flower (pedicles) is hairless; styles shorter than the petals; anthers 1/4-1/2 inch long. 

 

Fruits/Seeds:  Seeds are small, with three capsules. (trilocular)

Leaves: There are two different types of leaves present. Basal leaves are round, forming a rosette.   They have a distinct leaf stalk (petiole), are broad, and decrease late in season. The leaves on the erect part of the stem are long and narrow with alternate attachment. There are 10-22 leaves; 3/8-3 inches long, 1/32-5/8 inch wide, leaf bases and petioles are hairless. All leaves are dark green. 

 

Stems: There is 1- several very slender stems, growing 4-20 inches tall, hairless to slightly hairy, and containing a milky sap. The basal stems are creeping. 

Ecological Adaptations:
American bellflower is foundfrom low meadows to high subalpine regions ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 feet in elevation. It is adapted to full or partial sunlight, and tolerates drought.  It is common in the Uinta Mountains.   

 

Soils: It grows best in rich, well-drained, moist soil. It can tolerate a range of soil pH, and can thrive in acid and calcareous areas.

Associated Species: Aspen, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine.
Uses and Management:
American bellflower is often used as a plant in flower gardens. This plant does reseed itself quite vigorously, and can become aggressive and weedy.