Campanula rapunculoides
Common Name: rampion bellflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Campanulaceae
Native Range: Europe and western Siberia
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Bluish-purple flowers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Full sun is best in cool northern summer climates. Prefers part shade in hot summer climates. Needs regular moisture. Promptly remove spent flower stems to encourage additional bloom and to prevent self-seeding. Divide clumps in fall every 3-5 years to maintain vigor and/or control spread. Originally introduced into North America as an ornamental, but this plant is now considered by many authorities to be an invasive, hard-to-eliminate weed that easily spreads, particularly in moist soils, by stolons/rhizomes. Deep taproots are difficult to eradicate. Herbicides do not always work. Digging out the tubers can be effective, but it is difficult to remove all pieces of tubers and roots from a given area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Campanula rapunculoides, commonly known as creeping bellflower, rover bellflower or European bellflower, is a deeply-taprooted, rhizomatous perennial that is native to a variety of habitats in Europe and western Asia including open woodlands, forest margins and meadows. It was long ago introduced into North America where it subsequently escaped gardens and naturalized over time in Alaska, Canada, and across the northern U. S. from Washington to Maine south to Nevada, Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Nodding, bell-shaped, campanulate, 5-lobed, bluish-purple flowers (each to 1” long) with flaring petals bloom abundantly in usually one-sided terminal racemes atop slender, upright, leafy flowering stems rising well above the basal foliage clump to 2-4’ tall. Flowers bloom June to August. Toothed foliage features long-stalked, ovate basal leaves (to 3” long) with cordate bases and narrower, short-stalked to stalkless, lanceolate-ovate stem leaves (to 4” long).

This invasive plant is not recommended for planting in garden areas. Unfortuntately, it is sometimes mistakenly sold by nurseries under the name of Adenophora liliifolia, commonly known as ladybells, which is very similar in physical appearance but lacking in invasive characteristics.

Leaves, shoots and roots are edible for humans. This plant was once grown as a food plant.

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

Specific epithet means like Rapunculus is in reference to an obsolete name for bellflowers.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Snails and slugs are occasional problems.

Garden Uses

Not recommended for planting because of invasive characteristics.