Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spotted Bells

Fig. 1     Spotted bellflower (Campanula punctata)
Campanula punctata.   Bell-shaped flowers that dangled from slender stalks periodically grabbed my attention as I roamed my mother (in-law)'s country garden in Fortuna, California.  Campanula punctata (Fig. 1) has flowers (either white or pink) that are tinged with fine purplish dots which make them appear delicately translucent.  (These dots are the distinguishing characteristic of the species punctata).  The scalloped edges of the corolla are lined with delightful trichomes.  I suppose that they function, among others, to aid pollinators in reaching their desired destination. 

 
Fig.  2     Campanula punctata grows in the shade.


 Sun Exposure.   I observed that the plant was growing in both full sun and shady areas of the garden with no obvious growth difference.   When it comes to determining whether a plant is good for the shade or full sun areas, the determining factor is usually their water requirement.  When a gardener can assure that the plants get enough (not too much) water regardless of position in the garden, then the plants can perform well regardless of sun exposure.  The plant has soft tissues hence drainage is important in order to avoid rotting of the stems. 


Fig. 3      Showy display of white flowers


Growth Habit.  This perennial plant is a moderate grower and a vigorous self-seeder.  (I know this for sure because when I visited the garden a year ago, they were not there, but this time they were all over the place.)  The plant multiplies itself in two ways - creeping rhizomes and traveling seeds.  Regular division is necessary to promote good plant vigor.  In as much as blooming occurs in spring to summer, it is best to divide the plants in the fall. 

I brought home some rhizomes of this plant for my garden.  I imagined that they would look great in the shady "Down Under".  Unfortunately, the voles got to them before they had a chance to get established.  Sad.

 
There are hundreds of species in the genus Campanula; which one have you tried in your garden? 

1 comment:

Bom said...

I don't have any, unfortunately.

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