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Campanula (Bellflower)
at Digging Dog

Including Campanula poscharskyana, Campanula sarmatica, Campanula takesimana, Campanula lactiflora, and Campanula garganica

Campanula

Bellflower

The definitive bellflower, Campanulas melt your heart as they ring in the summer. The genus includes nearly 300 species, from dainty miniatures to stalwart uprights; we can’t resist using them in almost every garden design. Campanulas prefer filtered sun inland, full sun on the coast.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Campanula alliariifolia  full sun  partial shade
Ivory Bells
Campanula alliariifolia

Highly touted by Graham Stuart Thomas, who once referred to it as a “picture of poise and beauty,” this vigorous, clump-forming Campanula hosts a multitude of imposing one-sided spires, densely set with creamy white bells from top to bottom. The 2 in., nodding blooms sport prominent calyxes and elegantly illuminate the handsome, long-petioled heart-shaped foliage below.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 18"–2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula alliariifolia (P-1311)
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Campanula ‘Birch Hybrid’  full sun  partial shade
Campanula  Birch Hybrid

In light of the notion that “new” is not always better, there’s nothing like welcoming back a hard working old friend. Large showy lavender-blue bells flower freely, nodding on graceful 8 in. stems above tidy low mounds of toothed, crisp green foliage. Visually cooling brickwork, small rocks or stone paving in bright sunny spots, this carefree Campanula can be paired with Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’ or pink flowering Saponaria x oliviana.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 6" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Campanula ‘Birch Hybrid’ (P-0042)
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Campanula carpatica var. turbinata  full sun
Campanula carpatica var. turbinata

All the way from the Carpathian Mountains comes this lively Campanula with winsome mounds of saw-toothed bright green foliage. A profusion of cup-shaped, papery blue flowers face the sky and embellish any rock garden or border.

Blooms late July–September.

Size: 6" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula carpatica var. turbinata (P-0043)
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Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’  partial shade
Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold

Cool your summer garden with the fresh colors of spring. In partial shade, the vibrant golden foliage and plentiful clear-water blue flowers of ‘Dickson’s Gold’ will literally glow with life. For even more delectable blue, plant with Salvia forsskaolii in the rockery or along a wall.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 6" high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ (P-0188)
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Campanula glomerata ‘Caroline’  full sun  partial shade  new plant
Clustered Bellflower
Campanula glomerata Caroline

Featured in lovely rounded heads, showy pastel-hued flowers surmount stocky upright stems loosely attired with small sessile leaves. Each long lasting cluster houses up to 15 small blooms, described by deep mauve tips, aged pale blushed petals and newer more saturated amethyst pink ones for a distinctive two-toned effect. Large long-petioled foliage—hairy, toothed, and ovate-shaped— form a verdant slowly spreading basal clump that relishes even moisture and exhibits more heat tolerance than most glomerata species. Rarely offered and easily cultivated, ‘Caroline’ can be associated with pink blooming Persicaria ‘Dimity’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12"–18" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 3.


Campanula glomerata ‘Caroline’ (P-1796)
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Campanula ‘Kent Belle’  full sun

Large, waxy dark violet-blue flowers hang like lanterns on 3 to 4 ft. stems above glossy basal foliage. We plant this quick colonizing offspring of Campanula takesimana among other vigorous perennials such as Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Sunbeam’ at the front of the border.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Campanula ‘Kent Belle’ (P-0510)
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Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’  full sun
Campanula lactiflora Loddon Anna Campanula lactiflora Loddon Anna

Blowsy branching heads of soft pink bellflowers crown sturdy stems lined in pointed leaves, and with Boltonia ‘Snowbank’ nearby create a perfect duet for harmony and support. We love this plant just as much in winter when we pull back the mulch to see its crisp, fleshy white buds slumbering away the cold months.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3'–4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.


Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’ (P-0044)
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Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’  full sun
Campanula lactiflora Prichard’s Variety

‘Prichard’s Variety’ is really quite a beauty, a classic border plant distinguished by an elegant profile. Abundant large, dome-shaped clusters of vibrant violet-blue flowers, brightened by a white center, crown the stout, branching stalks and verdant leaves.

Saponaria ‘Max Frei’ is a lively companion for this Campanula’s flowers and Achillea ‘Fireland’ adds warm red tones.

Blooms mid-July–September.

Size: 3'–4' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’ (P-0830)
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Campanula lactiflora ‘White Pouffe’  full sun  partial shade

A diminutive leafy mound of soft-looking fresh greenery with toothed margins cushions enchanting outward facing pure white, clustered bell flowers that bees and hummingbirds adore. Selected by revered plantsman Alan Bloom, ‘White Pouffe’s well-groomed compact character can be easily nestled into the frontlines of a border or atop a wall next to Phlox ‘Mini Pearl’ for foliar contrast and pearl-hued blooms.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12"–15" high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula lactiflora ‘White Pouffe’ (P-1784)
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Campanula latiloba ‘Alba’  full sun  partial shade
Campanula latiloba Alba

This elegant Campanula forms a tidy mound of deep green evergreen rosettes that hugs the ground. Stiff, flowering stems, in no need of staking, rise midsummer, displaying a multitude of ridged, creamy chartreuse buds. The abundant, snow-white, star-shaped flowers, each accented by three curled white anthers, are perfect for the white garden, especially against Phlox ‘David’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.


Campanula latiloba ‘Alba’ (p-0187)
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Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’  full sun  partial shade
Serbian Bellflower
Campanula poscharskyana Blue Waterfall

A cascading river of blue-violet, star-shaped blooms emanates from this low-to the-ground, vigorous beauty. Opening from pointy ribbed buds, each soothing, cool-colored flower is highlighted by a subtle white eye, amid good-looking toothed foliage that is darker and more tidy than the species. ‘Blue Waterfall’ is tailor-made for tumbling over walls or creeping along steps, can handle some drought once established and is basically trouble free. (pp#13161)

Blooms June–October.

Size: 8"–10" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’ (P-1310)
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Campanula poscharskyana ‘E. H. Frost’  full sun  partial shade

This pre-glasnost Yugoslav émigré is a deservedly popular ground cover. Starry sprays of frosty white bells cover a low mat that can venture over walls or colonize a rock garden.

Blooms May–July.

Size: 8" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula poscharskyana ‘E. H. Frost’ (p-0046)
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Campanula poscharskyana ‘Stella’  full sun  partial shade

This favorite of ours conjures images of a brilliant sky. The star-shaped blue-violet flowers open to reveal a white center that contrasts sharply with the deep green foliage. In a crevice or trailing over a rock wall with Geum ‘Beech House Apricot’, ‘Stella’s colors will contrast stellarly.

Blooms June – September.

Size: 6"–8" high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Campanula poscharskyana ‘Stella’ (P-0512)
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Campanula punctata ‘Cherry Bells’  full sun  partial shade

Not one person has passed by this plant in our garden without stopping to admire its extraordinary bell-shaped cherry-red flowers, which are neatly edged in white. Brightened by pale, purple-spotted throats, they can extend over 3 in. If the timing is right, onlookers will also notice the unusual ridged buds, fastened by long, narrow green calyxes. The ample-sized, pendulous blooms and buds are especially striking against the backdrop of somewhat triangular, serrated green leaves.

Blooms July–mid-October.

Size: 20"–2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Campanula punctata ‘Cherry Bells’ (P-0790)
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Campanula ‘Sarastro’  full sun
Sarastro Bellflower

It’s hard to imagine how on earth ‘Kent Bells’ could be improved upon but that’s exactly what happened when this first-rate Campanula punctata and trachelium hybrid was introduced. Not as tall, more compact and slow to spread are all good reasons why ‘Sarastro’ should be invited into your garden, but then add glistening 2 in. dark violet-blue bells and it becomes simply indispensable.

Named for the Austrian nursery where it originated, this exceptional Bellflower boasts sturdy, 20 in. spikes laden with floral pendants that don’t need staking, and look downright gorgeous alongside yellow flowering Centaurea ruthenica.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 18"–20" high x 18"–2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2014

Campanula ‘Sarastro’ (P-1309)
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Campanula sarmatica  full sun
Campanula sarmatica

Gracing American gardens since the 1800s, this rarely offered, endangered Campanula fashions an attractive gray-green rosette of crinkled, arrow-shaped leaves, each with a rounded base, a somewhat fuzzy surface and long petioles. The dainty floriferous display of soft blue, flared bells borne on one-sided, upright racemes belies its rugged character.

A sun tolerant, clumping perennial, Campanula sarmatica’s quiet charm can be admired along a border’s edge or atop a wall accompanying Diascia ‘Coral Canyon’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 16"–20" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Campanula sarmatica (P-1171)
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Campanula takesimana  full sun  partial shade
Campanula takesimana Campanula takesimana

If fairies lived in flowers, they would certainly call this Korean Campanula home. White with hints of lilac on the outside and spotted maroon on the inside, the 2 in. lanternlike flowers lighten even the darkest of days. With reddish stems and large deep green basal foliage, this perennial spreads easily and can be grown in full sun on the coast.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 18" high x 2' & spreading; hardy to zone 5.


Campanula takesimana (P-0047)
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Campanula trachelium ‘Bernice’  full sun  partial shade
Campanula trachelium Bernice

Profusions of showy violet-blue flowers, their delicate layers of petals opening widely, embellish strong leafy stems above a neat mound of jagged-edged basal foliage. An excellent choice for the rock garden, tuck ‘Bernice’ in a crevice with gray-leafed Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ nearby.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 18" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Campanula trachelium ‘Bernice’ (P-0733)
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