Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower)
|Also known as:||Rampion Bellflower, European Bellflower|
|Habitat:||shade, sun; deciduous woods, fields, along roads, disturbed areas|
|Bloom season:||June - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are arranged in a long raceme along one side of the stem at the top of the plant. Individual flowers are about 1 inch long, nod slightly, and bell-shaped with 5 pointed lobes that may have sparsely hairy edges. Inside the bell are 5 curly yellow stamens and a protruding style with a divided, curled tip. Flower color is blue to blue-violet. The bracts at the base of the flower has 5 narrow pointed lobes that fold back away from the flower. The raceme can grow to more than half the length of the plant.
Leaves have fine, coarse teeth, a rough texture, are generally heart-shaped, becoming smaller and proportionately narrower as they ascend the stem. Lower leaves are up to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide with stalks to 6 inches long. Leaves near the top of the plant have little or no stalk. The stem is also rough from stiff hairs and is often purple, especially near the base of the plant. Plants grow erect or leaning.
Creeping Bellflower, a European import popular in the garden industry, readily escapes cultivation and can quickly become invasive, spreading both from seed (up to 15,000 per plant!) as well as its root system. It is a miserable plant and very difficult to eradicate once established. Herbicides such as Round Up are recommended by many, but are often ineffective; digging the all the tubers out may be your only hope. Any missed roots will resprout and you'll have to begin again. The Wisconsin DNR has a fact sheet available that may be of help.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?