Plant of the Month for February 2010

Campanula chamissonis; photo by Todd Boland
Campanula chamissonis

Description and general information

This bellflower is native from Japan north through eastern Siberia, along the Aleutians and into northwestern Alaska. Plants spread by underground stolons, eventually forming a mat. The foliage is glossy bright green.

The relatively large, solitary flowers are held atop 5-10 cm stems from May through June. In Newfoundland, we often get sporatic blooming all summer and into autumn. Blooms are mid-blue with paler centers. Plants are hardy from zone 3-8.

This species is also known as C. pilosa, C. dasyantha and C. pilosa var. dasyantha.

Cultivation

Full sun to part shade in any well-drained soil seems to suit this care-free yet highly desirable bellflower.

Bloom period

May in the south, June in the north and often scattered blooms later in the season.

Propagation

division, seeds, cuttings

Seed

Seeds need exposure to fluctuating temperatures, including freezing, for about 3 months. Seeds also need light to germinate.

Division

Plants are easily increased by digging and dividing the mass of underground stolons. This is best done in early spring or late summer.

Cuttings

Rosettes with a short piece of stolon attached may be taken in July-August and rooted in a shaded frame.

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