Campanula lactiflora Loddon Anna

A group of traditional, old-fashioned, cottage garden plants. Covering a large genus of annuals, biennials and perennials. Most varieties have large star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers, in shades of blue, white and pink. A wide variety of forms are available, including alpine, spreading, clump-forming, trailing and tall uprights.

Family: Campanulaceae
Botanical Name: Campanula
Common Names: Bell flower, Harebell, Canterbury Bell, Cup and Saucer, Fairy Thimbles

Foliage: Green, lance-shaped leaves, mainly deciduous.

Flowers: Bell or star shaped flowers. Mainly in shades of blue but white and pink forms are also common.

Flowering Period: June, July, August.

Soil: Any moist but well-drained, light garden soil.

: Most varieties require a sunny position. Some types will also tolerate semi-shade.

Habit: Spreading, clump-forming, trailing and tall upright (depending on variety).

Type: Annuals, biennials and herbaceous or evergreen perennials.

Hardiness: Most varieties are fully hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Campanula

Easy to grow. These plants like a warm, sunny position and plenty of water. Do not allow the plants to dry out when in flower.

Tall and medium height varieties are ideal for cottage gardens, mixed borders and informal garden areas. Low growing varieties are good for path edging, dry walls, paving, raised beds and in the rock garden.

Tall forms are good for cutting and flower arranging.

Taking Care of Campanula

Regularly remove faded blooms to extend the flowering period. Taller varieties need support.

Pests and Diseases

Young growth is susceptible to slugs and snails. Leaves can be affected by powdery mildew and rust disease.

Propagating Campanula

Sow seed in autumn or spring. Plant out in the autumn.

Take cuttings of perennials in spring. Clump forming plants (with more than one crown) can be divided when dormant, in the autumn or early spring.

Popular Varieties of Campanula Grown in the UK

There is a wide range of Campanula species and varieties available, from tall to dwarf height.

Low Growing Varieties

campanual moesiacaC. moesiaca clusters of tiny bell-shaped flowers, in shades of blue, purple or white in mid to late summer.

Campanula carpaticaC. carpatica has large blue or white flowers in midsummer. Height: 3-4in (8-10cm).

C. carpatica 'Bressingham White' a pure white form. Height: 6in (15cm).

C. cochlearifolia (Fairy Thimbles) a low growing dainty plant with small pendent bell flowers in blue or white. Height: 3in (7.5cm).

C. garganica with pale lavender-blue flowers in summer. Low growing spreading. Height: 2in (5cm).

Trailing Varieties

Campanula muralisC. portenschlagiana (syn C. muralis) (wall bellflower) is covered with masses of purple bell-shaped flowers flowers from June-September. Good for shade. Height: 4 in (10cm).

C. isophylla a lovely white or pale blue trailing variety ideal for hanging baskets.

C. aucheri is tuft forming with long trails of blue or white blooms between June and August.

C. poscharskyana long flowering, mat forming plant, with star shaped blue flowers. Height: 4 in (10cm).

Medium Height

C. punctata 'Rubriflora' a striking plant with long, hanging bells of flecked purple-pink. Height and spread: 1ft (30cm).

C. glomerata 'Superba' (clustered bellflower) bell-like flowers are borne in spherical clusters of deep purple-violet. Height: 2ft (60cm).

Tall Varieties

C. latiloba alba (great bellflower) long spikes of white star shaped bell flowers. Height: 1.5 to 3ft (0.5-1m).

Campanula mediumC. medium (Canterbury bell) has large loose heads of inflated bell-shaped blue, pink or white flowers from May to June. Biennial. Height: 1.5 to 3ft (0.5-1m).

Campanula lactifloraC. lactiflora (milky bellflower) abundant showy clusters of flowers in pink, white or blue. Height: 3ft to 4.5ft (1-1.5 metres).

Campanula persicifoliaC. persicifolia, single, harebell-like flowers in white and blue. Popular garden variety and a good self-seeder. Height: 3ft (90cm).

campanual latifolia blue flowerC. latifolia (broad-leaved or giant bellflower) is a taller species than persicifolia, with large long bell or star-shaped flowers. Height: 4-5 ft (1.2 to 1.5m).