to campanula

southerngardening24(7b)July 7, 2014

Yes I could have sent a private message but thought maybe others have suggestions as well. Campanula, I just finished reading your member page info. Sounds like you definitely stay busy.

My question is, which kinds of campanula plants do you have, or have grown in the past, that you would recommend, if any?

I am raising some campanula punctata seedlings. I do know they can be invasive but that's kind of the point for a certain area I want them for.

I also have recieved some small campanula takesimana elizabeth plants recently. Hopefully they will make it through our hot summer here in SC. It will be in the low 90's tomorrow.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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Campanula UK Z8

Southern gardener - what do you want them for? (I mean where do you want them?) They are a wonderful genus but have limitations when it comes to dealing with heat and aridity....although some of the small creeping types have mediterranean origins and can cope with a long dry season better than the tall herbaceous bellflowers. If the takesima and punctata do well for you, you could do worse than sourcing Sarastro or Kent Belle - tall blues which have punctata (and trachelium, I think) in their lineage.
I do know that the most southerly campanula is another tall one called c.rigidipila which originates in the Ethiopean highlands (have not tried this one myself)....but, in general, for the hot south, I would be looking at the smaller c.pulla, c.pulloides, various hybrids of c.portenschlagiana (Birch hybrids) c.incurva, c.zoysii and possibly, the interesting bearded bellflower, c,barbata. Although c.glomerata hybrids seem popular on this forum, I cannot fervently recommend them as they are floppy, unreliable and short-lived....whereas, if you have a shady, wild area, our native c.trachelium or the vary large c.lactiflora are stunning, especially in year3 and thereafter.

I can recommend a good monograph on the genus - the Lewis and Lynch book, 'Campanulas) is helpful....but generally suited more to european gardens.

All are easy from seed (although some of the little alpines can be a bit challenging). Tiny dust like stuff which you can sow using the WS method without covering the seed (they need light to germinate) and will usually be in flower the following season.

When I have a better idea what you are looking for, I, along with many people here, are always keen to do a spot of enabling.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Thank you for your reply! I would plant some in a few different areas in the garden around other plants but am mainly interested in filling a shaded hill. A neighbors black walnut tree is at the property line. Hopefully it is not an issue with campanula plants.

The hill only has a rose of sharon, an azalea, and foxglove seedlings so far.

I'm not looking for the low growing but rather the taller varieties, something that will add height and interest without staking. Then again maybe I could mix in some low growing ones?

Lactiflora is beautiful and I love pulla. My takesimana elizabeth plants have died back mostly but some are showing tiny new growth. They should be ok.

Are campanulas generally mostly blue or am I looking at the wrong images online? I would be more interested in colors other than blue or am I asking for too much?

Growing from seed is fine with me. My first winter sowing was pretty successful and I plan on winter sowing again this year except I will limit my choices drastically.

I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. I really do appreciate your reply and the time and effort you have put into your answers and suggestions. Campanula are great plants and I'm just now finding out how many different ones exist. It's a huge selection to chose from.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:12AM
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Campanula UK Z8

mostly blue or white but the biennial C.medium have pinks and purples, while lactiflora 'Loddon Anna' is a pale lilac colour entirely appropriate for its common name of milky bellflower. C.trachelium 'Faichem Lilac' (seeds available from Chiltern seeds) along with c,latiloba Hidcote Amythyst shade into pinks (and are both great contenders for a woody hillside). New to me this year are C.collina - similar to C.rotundifolia in that it is semi-sprawling at around 1foot tall.
My tracheliums are flowering now and I really cannot overstate what fine plants these are - in those crepuscular hours of twilight, they look totally electric and have a certain wild majesty. I am also guitly of growing that notorious thug, C.rapunculoides as I love the asymetrical one sidedness, like wild foxgloves (not those hybrid fat abominations which have blooms all round the spike or worse, upward facing blooms).
There are some great double white peach-leaved bellflowers and a particularly lovely one with a faint picotee edge - C.persicifolia 'Chettle Charm', syn, 'George Chiswell'.
I have always loved bellflowers and my infatuation, even after 2 decades, shows no signs of slowing down. Wonderful plants.

Just mentioning in passing - a pale yellow/straw coloured one, C,thyrsoides - strange but curiously enticing (in a wild style)..

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:30PM
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