Campanula topaliana

Submitted by Novak on Tue, 11/10/2015 - 19:44

Lori Skulski's post of a Campanula topaliana foliage ( has inspired me to post a photo of my plant in bloom this May. It was gorgeous from mid-May to mid-June, but, since it was a biennial, it is now gone. And despite my efforts to play pollinator with a pipecleaner, it didn't set seed.

The plant above the Campanula is Aethionema grandiflorum Pulchellum Group, for which I have the NARGS seed exchange to thank.

An amusing thing about this plant: it pressed its stems against the stone wall it was growing in. And I do mean actively pressed: when I pulled a stem forward, it would spring back, so this plant must have been expending energy to push its stems against the wall. Why would a plant do this -- trying to protect its stems from browsing animals?


Submitted by RickR on Tue, 11/10/2015 - 20:35

Nicely done!

Could it be an adaption to prevent mountain winds from rustling it about?

Submitted by Novak on Wed, 11/11/2015 - 07:00

In reply to by RickR

Rick, that's a good suggestion -- it seems more likely than my idea on deterring browsers.

Fine plants, Janet!  What a gorgeous species!  I only wish the darn things weren't monocarpic, but then again, maybe they will self-sow for you.  It would be wonderful to get them to the state of being self-sustaining.  

Yes, I imagine its low stance is an adaptation against cold, blasting alpine wind and to absorb solar radiation close to the ground?  A typical form for alpines, in any case.