Campanula rapunculoides L.
Campanula rapunculoides L. var. ucranica (Besser) K. Koch
Creeping Bellflower, Rampion Bellflower, Rover Bellflower
Creeping bellflower is native to Europe and western Siberia. It inhabits fields, stream banks, woodlands, woodland edges, prairies, roadsides, urban areas, and oak savannas. Introduced to other countries, it is has escaped cultivation and naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, North America and South America. Over much of its range, it is considered an invasive species, and it is not recommended for gardens for this reason. Once established, creeping bellflower is extremely difficult to get rid of.
Plants: 12-31" (30-80 cm) high. Stems are erect or leaning and usually unbranched, smooth to slightly hairy, with parallel reddish ridges.
Leaves: Leaves near the base of the plant are triangular and narrow, with a heart-shaped or rounded base, jagged edges, and a rough texture. Lower leaves are up to 4" (10 cm) × 2" (5 cm), on stalks (petioles) up to 6" (15 cm) long. Upper stem leaves are alternate, lanceolate to ovate, and sessile, with hairy undersides.
Flowers: Flowers hang like beautiful bells, in erect racemes. They are bright blue-violet (rarely white), ¾-1½" (2-4 cm) long, with five deep lobes, on short stems. The bracts at the base of each bell also form a 5-pointed star, and are reflexed (bent back). Flowers appear from June to August.
Fruits: Capsules ⅛-¼" (5-8 mm) × ~³/₁₆" (5-6 mm), are nearly round. They burst open when dry, releasing flattened seeds about ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) in size. A single plant produces as many at 15,000 seeds!
Edibility: Leaves, shoots and roots are edible for humans. The plant was once cultivated for food.
Campanula rapunculoides at Illinois Wildflowers
Campanula rapunculoides at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Campanula rapunculoides at Minnesota Wildflowers
Campanula rapunculoides description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 3-9: