Lori Skulski's post of a Campanula topaliana foliage (https://www.nargs.org/forum/alpines-september) 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?
Here's the photo I meant to post.
Could it be an adaption to prevent mountain winds from rustling it about?
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.