Campanula lactiflora 'Pouffe'
Common Name: milky bellflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Campanulaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale lavendar blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers part shade in hot summer climates. Plants need regular moisture. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Foliage is generally semi-evergreen in USDA Zones 8-9, but deciduous in the northern parts of the growing range. Plants do not always perform well, however, in the hot and humid summer climates of the deep South in areas where night temperatures may consistently remain above 70 degrees F. Divide clumps in fall every 3-4 years. Under ideal growing conditions, these plants can spread invasively in the garden by self-seeding. Consider cutting back flowering stems immediately after bloom both to discourage self-seeding and to encourage a second flush of flowers in the fall. This is one of the taller members of the bellflower family, and may benefit from staking in some locations.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Campanula lactiflora, commonly known as milky bellflower, is a bushy, upright perennial that typically grows to 3-5’ tall on branched stems clad with stalkless, sharply-toothed, ovate-lanceolate leaves (to 2-3” long). Leaf size decreases toward the top of the plant. It is native to the Caucasus. Serrated basal leaves (to 3-5”) are longer than stem leaves. Upward-pointing, bell-shaped flowers (to 1.5” across) are pale blue to milky white. Flowers bloom in summer (4-5 weeks) on 12-15” leafy terminal panicles located on each axillary shoot. Hundreds of flowers can bloom in a growing season on one healthy plant. Unfortunately, plants tend to spread, sometimes invasively, in the garden by self-seeding. In the Northwestern U.S., this plant has a reputation of being weedy.

Genus name comes from the Latin campana meaning bell in reference to the bell-shaped flowers.

Specific epithet means having milky-white flowers.

‘Pouffe’ is a dwarf cultivar that typically grows to only 12-18” tall. Flowers are pale blue.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Snails and slugs may damage plants. Watch for spider mites and aphids.

Garden Uses

Provides color and contrast to perennial borders, rock gardens, cottage gardens or naturalized areas. Also effective in lightly shaded woodland settings. Best planted in groups or massed in areas where plant spread will not pose threats to valued plants.