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.
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?