Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower)

Plant Info
Also known as: Rampion Bellflower, European Bellflower
Family:Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Invasive - ERADICATE!
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):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: bell Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flowers are arranged in a long raceme along one side of the stem at the top of the plant. Individual flowers average about 1 inch long, nod slightly, and are 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 to purple. The green calyx 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: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are basal and alternate, the basal and lower stem leaves heart-shaped, up to 4 inches long, to 2 inches wide, on stalks up to 6 inches long. Leaves become smaller, less heart-shaped, and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem with the uppermost leaves stalkless or nearly so. All are coarsely toothed, pointed at the tip and rough textured. The stem is green to purple and rough from stiff hairs. Plants grow erect or leaning.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of developing fruit ©Matt Lavin] Fruit is a round capsule about 1/3 inch diameter, containing up to 150 seeds.

[photo of roots, rhizomes and tubers] Plants also reproduce vegetatively, via underground horizontal stems (rhizomes) and stout, taproot-like tubers.


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.

All of the resources describing control measures say pretty much the same thing:

  • herbicides containing glyphosate (i.e. RoundUp) or dicamba are recommended, but none are 100% effective; repeat applications will be necessary
  • burning may kill seedlings; prescribed burning or repeated mowing may weaken but will not kill more mature plants
  • digging down at least 6 inches, getting the all the tubers, rhizomes and roots out may be your only hope; any missed roots will resprout
  • do not compost plant material if flowers or fruits are present; burn it or bag and put in the trash (label bag as invasive species if necessary)

The Wisconsin DNR has a fact sheet (PDF) available with more information.

Creeping Bellflower has been mistaken for Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) or a native Bluebells (Mertensia species). Wishful thinking. The leaf shape is different for all 3; Harebell is also a very spindly, delicate plant and Bluebells have more trumpet-shaped flowers in tighter clusters dangling at branch tips.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos by Steven Miles taken in Hennepin County. Developing fruit photo by Matt Lavin, via Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 2.0. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Judy
on: 2009-05-01 19:05:22

This plant is terrible. It takes over and chokes out other plants. I even have it coming up on my lawn. Beware!!!

Posted by: Gerry - Bloomington
on: 2009-05-16 11:31:41

I have been trying to eradicate this weed from my garden for about 10 years. I have taken to digging deep in the soil when I find one, and removing the large root. Roundup seems to have no effect whatsoever. I have fewer of them now, but have to stay vigilant to keep them from taking over!

Posted by: Mary - St. Louis Park
on: 2009-09-29 12:19:33

Very good description of this beautiful but very hard to eradicate "wildflower". Thanks for posting this info.

Posted by: Jen - Duluth
on: 2010-02-05 19:04:55

These are great descriptions and pictures. Could there be a link included to a website that describes methods for control and eradication? I would imagine that there are members of MNPS that would have at least a couple great sites.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2010-02-05 23:21:49

While the DNR and MN Dept of Ag have some info about control for some species, Creeping Bellflower isn't on their lists and I am not aware of anyone with the NPS (local or national) that covers the subject either.

If you come across a good site I would be very interested, though! In the meantime, if you have some that needs eradication your best bet is probably through your local Soil and Water Conservation District. See the invasive species page for more info.

Posted by: Ellen
on: 2010-04-24 15:16:39

The way I have been killing them is by digging deep to get rid of the tubers. These plants are tricky -- the tubers are connected to the surface by thin, fragile roots, so it's easy to pull up and think you've gotten it, without affecting the taproot at all. I've found that it's necessary to dig very slowly and gently, with a dandelion puller, to remove the roots intact and be certain I've found all the tubers.

Posted by: Ben - Hopkins
on: 2010-04-30 23:30:15

link to control info via UofM extension

Posted by: Debbie - St. Louis Park
on: 2010-08-27 21:14:02

This "pretty" plant is quickly taking over where we have been working hard to control buckthorn in an area along Minnehaha Creek. Our buckthorn managed area has been overrun with this creeping bellflower, burdock, dame's rocket, curled dock and a host of other invasives-it's very disheartening :(

Posted by: David - Lake Minnetonka, Hennepin County
on: 2011-05-30 22:01:43

Having the same experience as Debbie in St. Louis Park. Cleared an area of buckthorn on Lake Minnetonka and Creeping Bellflower is moving in. It's by no means taken over and has much to compete with as the area has been led to grow natural. Is there any reason I should be concerned?

Posted by: Sue - Alexandria: Lake Darling
on: 2011-07-13 10:03:58

I made the mistake of encouraging this beautiful weed next to my cabin. Now it's coming up in my steep slope lakeshore restoration and I can't reach it!

Posted by: Erin - big lake
on: 2011-07-16 22:30:23

I bought a plant from a nursery nearby that looks just like this. That was 5 years ago and it is very much taking over my garden. My father-in-law told me it was invasive but I ignored him. Same as the other comments, the roots are impossible to dig all out. Thanks for the info!!

Posted by: Marge - Columbia Heights
on: 2011-07-18 12:03:58

2 of these plants appeared in our yard this year. I will try to remove them immediately! Thanks for your wonderful website!

Posted by: Diana - NE Minneapolis
on: 2011-08-06 21:12:04

As Judy's 2009 post says, this plant is terrible. It is growing along alleys, in boulevards, and alongside houses all over the city. To get rid of it, you must carefully use a pitchfork to loosen the soil, a small dandelion tool and your fingertips to find where the root is, and get out all the root. Then I think really you should burn it. I have put it into the trash, rather than into the garden recycling system.

Don't confuse it with the other campanulas - there is a native campanula - Campanula Rotundiflora - which has the same purple flower, but a tiny plant, feathery leaves, and only a few flowers per plant. It's found in Northern Minnesota along Lake Superior. I am growing some in my front yard (while battling the neighbor's rapunculoides non-stop). Nothing will out-compete campanula rapunculoides. If you do nothing else, cut it down before it flowers.

Posted by: Maja - St. Paul
on: 2012-05-04 09:57:51

Aha! Finally, a creeping bellflower support group. I thought I had carefully dug up a thick patch of this stuff a few years ago when we moved into our house in St. Paul. It grew back year after year, through all the other perennials I'd planted, despite trying to stay on top of weeding. I've given up and plan to smother the bed with wet newspaper mulch and compost. Advice: make sure the roots of this plant are completely gone before you replant a weed patch.

Posted by: Tasha - Minneapolis (Whittier)
on: 2012-05-10 20:54:31

This plant is turning into my personal nemesis. We bought a house two years ago that already had a very well established periwinkle bed in the front and this sneaky scourge is slowly taking over all of it. My neighbors are having the same issue. It's in beds, lawns, it even seems to grow in dirt. My biggest problem is that I can't dig in the bed, besides there is so much of it in other parts of the property, I would be busy for weeks if I tried to dig each pant up with the roots. We tried Roundup (once, because I strongly dislike it) to little avail. So I keep pulling and mulching (where applicable) in the hope that I'll exhaust it.

Posted by: KJ - Stillwater
on: 2012-05-16 19:30:36

This plant is steadily marching up our street via boulevard flower beds, it crawls along the sidewalks and old retaining walls and is now invading our lawn in big patches. My neighbors seem to be clueless. It is a pretty flower in bloom, but looks scraggly when it goes to seed, and if you are a gardener you won't enjoy it once you realize how pesky it is. I have tried to deadhead any flower stalks before they set seed, the seed pods can form quite low on the stalk so it needs to be cut at the ground, and the stalk can regrow and form more flowers, so you still have to go back and make sure there are no additional flowers/seed pods forming. I bag the stalks and roots and send them out in the trash. Do not compost any part of this plant! I have dug it out of a contained boulevard bed/rock garden that was surrounded by concrete walkways (how did it get there?) and thoroughly dug and sifted the soil, kept that area bare for 2 seasons and still it comes back, probably from small root pieces I missed- lots of fine roots plus fleshy storage roots 6 or more inches deep. The roots grow under and around rocks. I will wait to replant that bed with perennials until I am sure there is no more. I think it might make it even harder to control by trying to dig it all out, and the roots just travel under mulch. I prefer to not use chemicals in my garden or lawn, but I am now experimenting with Roundup in selective non lawn areas, and Fertilome Weed Free Zone (has dicamba) in lawn areas. I have read that it is resistant to 2,4-D. So far I'm finding it will take multiple applications, and treatment timing is very important. This spring I am also finding it appearing in other parts of our property in isolated spots, so it may also be spread by animals, birds, lawnmower, even found some growing in last fall's leaf compost pile, so I'm wondering if bits of the stem or leaves can also sprout. It can sneak in unnoticed and without invitation. It has even jumped across our driveway to the boulevard bed upstream from us! My aim is to create some sort of treatment "moat" so it will have trouble getting across to the rest of our gardens and lawn. Will keep looking for it, and experimenting with what works best to get rid of it before it gets into my wildflower and perennial borders. From what I've seen so far it's going to be very tough to control.

Posted by: Linda - Kasota
on: 2012-06-22 06:56:09

I just noticed these pretty purple flowers blooming in my hedge a few days ago. I have never noticed these on our property before. It took me a while to find this site & I'm so glad I did because I was going to dig them up & move them to my perennial garden--what a disaster that would have been!!! Thank you everyone for all the good advice on how to eradicate these weeds. I'm planning on carefully digging them out today.

Posted by: Shelly - Wisconsin
on: 2012-06-28 12:01:15

I hate this plant it is taking over my yard! I have been fighting it for years and am loosing, now my sister-in-law has planted one at my parents house! I am not happy! I found this link and will be trying to kill it with these chemical suggestions. I have my fingers crossed. :o(
Chemical:1 Glyphosate is effective for spot applications; dicamba can be used for broadcast application such as lawns. Creeping bellflower is resistant to 2,4-D.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2012-06-28 12:36:30

Shelly, the University of Wisconsin also has some good info on creeping bellflower control measures, as well as a number of other invasive species in our area. Good luck with your eradication!

Posted by: Ellen - Edina (Twin Cities)
on: 2013-03-07 10:07:10

Lately in my yard this plant has been losing ground, especially in sunny areas, to some kind of orange fungus and to native blue violets. I don't know whether this is also partly due to drought or what, but I'm planning on spreading the fungus and violets to every part of our yard that is infested with the bellflowers. The violets form thick matts that seem to choke out bellflowers. If you have this see if you can get native blue violets to compete with it.

Posted by: Sandi - Spicer
on: 2013-07-12 11:27:08

Several years ago when my mother was visiting she called this plant a weed. I told her that the bees really liked it so I ignored her and have lived to regret it! Unless you go after it EVERY day, it will soon spread and take over large areas. It is also in our neighbors lawn which borders my flower garden and popping up in unlikely areas often overlooked when I'm on an eradication mission. I hate chemicals and don't want to resort to them as we are by a lake but I haven't been able to even make a dent in these horrible plants. The orange fungus mentioned above, could that be rust that has cedar as its host plant? I've noticed that buckthorn is infected with the rust (not enough to kill it) and wonder if that could be a method of killing the nasty invader. Apple trees are also susceptible. Any ideas on getting rid of c. b. would be appreciated!

Posted by: Kathy - Rice County
on: 2014-05-11 08:15:47

Does it feed the bees?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2014-05-11 20:55:14

Whether it feeds the bees or not, there are far better options for the home garden than this invasive pest. It's displacement of native species, which are in fact good for pollinators, outweighs any marginal value it might have.

Posted by: Marie - Mpls
on: 2014-05-26 19:59:50

I always thought this plant was called European bellflower. The very odd thing I have noticed that dogs- especially German & English hunting breeds love to eat the leaves. (w/o any ill effects) one year I was determined to pull out every plant I saw- & keep any others mowed down to lowest level. I found the dogs really searching for them & w/o fail- they sniffed out a tiny tiny leaf somewhere to chew!

Posted by: Sarah - Medina
on: 2014-06-17 09:54:51

I have a patch I have been trying to kill for years under a pine tree. Funny, like Marie, I have noticed that my german shepherds LOVE to eat this plant. Too bad I cant teach them to eat the whole thing. I may have finally succeeded killing it this year... I mixed a stronger mixture of glyphosate in my sprayer and completely wetted the leaves of the whole patch. I have found that the commercially mixed roundup/glyphosate for the home landscape is indadequate to kill most invasive species. (I have 6 acres riddled with invasives inc. buckthorn) I now buy the most concentrated form I can buy and mix it myself in a tank sprayer or use it straight to paint on cut roots (i.e. buckthorn).

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2014-06-17 12:00:29

I would just be careful with herbicide use. Did you know mixing your own higher concentration than what the label specifies is actually illegal? I would also be concerned about long-term effects high concentration of herbicides (glyphosate in particular) have on the soil, and the surrounding plants, and the insects that feed on them.

Posted by: Sharon - Minnetonka
on: 2014-07-02 11:45:01

I have a huge patch of it under and within my lilac, hydrandeas,flox mums,stella daylillies! I could cry! I guess I need to throw everything in the garbage, use glyphosate, and then attemp to dig up the tubers. Right?

Posted by: Frank - St. Paul, Ayd Mill Road rail corridor and surrounding area
on: 2014-07-10 19:14:37

Everywhere you look....

Posted by: Starr - Linden Hills-Minneapolis
on: 2014-07-12 14:50:25

Kill this plant if it grows in your yard! (or try) I call these unstoppable monsters "Evil White Carrots" because they have an enormous carrot like root that rapidly spreads underground, killing even the hardiest species with ease. Bad, bad, bad plant!

Posted by: Sharon - Minnetonka
on: 2014-07-24 09:19:20

I understand that killing this weed can require several applications over several years. Can you tell me how long I should wait after treating the weed with glyphosate before repeating the treatment? How many times in one season?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2014-07-24 10:47:39

Sharon, check the links posted in some of the other comments for treatment information.

Posted by: R. Palmer - McIntosh
on: 2014-11-20 20:09:58

I have battled these weeds for years and found the only way to get rid of them in flowerbeds it to dig up everything, at least a foot down or sometimes deeper to get to the big taproot. When I lived in International Falls I took a sample to the soil & water person for identification and they didn't know what it was. I've finally found out and am thankful that this plant is finally recognized as invasive.

Posted by: Carmine - Minneapolis
on: 2015-05-25 10:51:37

Here's another good link on eradicating creeping bellflower and a MN native alternative to plant in its place:

Posted by: Jay - Oakdale
on: 2015-06-03 20:23:31

I have sprayed it for 2 years I it's growing just as good as ever. My lawn man sprayed it & it's wilting but I don't think it will kill it. It will just come back. I've been digging it out trying to get the tap root. a week or so later I go back & dig it out where it's coming up again & finding more big tap roots. My yard is full of it & it killed out my wild flower garden. I think I will die before I get rid of it & now it's coming up in my neighbors yards. When I do dig it out & get the roots how can I kill it so it doesn't spread more. I don't want to put it into a compost as it will just spread more.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2015-06-03 21:03:04

Jay, check out some of the links in the other comments for info on eradication.

Posted by: Richard - St. Paul
on: 2015-07-07 10:55:50

This really saddens me. When the plant first showed up I was very excited. I have been purposefully growing this for the past two grows in a location that I have had no luck growing anything (and have spent hundreds of dollars purchasing numerous plants). It looks so beautiful, prevents any weeds and my neighbors love the way I have turned around the "ugly" spot in my yard. Now I have to pull it all up....

Posted by: Jen G - St. Paul
on: 2015-07-16 09:56:46

Crap, I have a ton of these flowers and always thought they were beautiful...the bees love them. I guess I have to pull them up. *sigh*

Posted by: Kimberlee - White Bear Lake
on: 2015-07-21 13:43:25

My God the pretty flower vine I found growing under my black raspberry bushes (and through the garage window and across the entire width of the garage) sounds like something right out of a Stephen King best seller! Now I'm frightened for my raspberry bushes. There's something coming up all around the bushes--upright stems no flowers. Sounds like it's time to get some Holy Water and do an exorcism!

Posted by: Betty
on: 2016-04-26 12:44:19

I have used 10% vinegar (cleaning vinegar) which is easier on the environment. Spray in the morning of a sunny day. It will kill the grass and other weeds too, but is fast and keeps the green foliage from supporting the roots. I also have recently covered a 10 x 10 foot area with plastic hoping to keep light and moisture out and maybe over a year or two eradicate it.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-04-26 17:35:05

Vinegar does not kill perennials, it only damages the above ground parts that have direct contact with it. Maybe that weakens the plant over time but it is not as effective as glyphosate, which is absorbed into the roots to kill it outright. I personally hate black plastic and cringe every time I see it used as an "environmentally friendly" weed killer. If there were a way to recycle the stuff it wouldn't be so bad, but in the end we're just adding more non-degradable plastics to landfills. Not good.

Posted by: Sharon - Bemidji
on: 2016-05-02 17:41:04

I'm going to try straight vinegar or a borax solution to eradicate this noxious weed. Wish me luck.

Posted by: ZENNA - Zim
on: 2016-05-30 16:45:52

Six years ago a relative gave me creeping bellflower when she mistook it for ladybells, or something like that. She informed me the next year she was wrong. I had only a few growing at the time. Now they are in my yard, four feet from the garden. I am finally going to try to dig them out and use a famous liquid killer. They choked out my (Asclepias tuberosa) Butterfly milkweed flowers.

Posted by: Eileen - Maple Grove
on: 2016-07-26 06:05:20

I'm relieved to have it finally identified. Gorgeous flowers. Quickly fills a troubled spot. But like many of you, it's out of control. I covered the area with black plastic. I plan to leave it covered until next year. I may have to expand the black plastic as I've seen the huggers shoot up near the plastic borders. I'll peek under the plastic next year and am now prepared to think I may have to hire a backhoe and have the entire section dug out, going very deep, and bring in new soil. I'll provide update next year. Keeping my fingers crossed but after reading all the comments, I'm now not so sure the black plastic idea will even work.

Posted by: Gina - Little Falls
on: 2016-07-27 16:29:36

I have these things everywhere! My house was abandoned for a few years when we bought it so nobody was pruning or weeding. UGH I thought they were pretty but seemed to find them in almost every flower bed. I have been pulling them for 5 years! They don't stop coming up. Now I have them in my day lily bed!!! Almost all of my neighbors have them so I thought everyone was sharing plants...guess I should have looked here sooner. :(

Posted by: Kari - Perham
on: 2016-08-03 12:34:11

Found it growing under some pine trees in the back yard.. wasn't sure what it was. disappointed I did not find a 'fun' flower.

Posted by: Brad t - Rochester
on: 2016-09-20 02:13:32

But the bees do love it, it's all over the city. Saw some by Bear Creek, beter go dig it out now before it gets away, but those seeds?

Posted by: Euell Theophilus Gibbons - Brainerd
on: 2017-05-09 09:49:16

Flowers, leaves, young shoots, roots are edible. Invasive tendencies and extreme hardiness mean lots of it will be available. Keep all of this in mind, it will be a decent enough wild food source when the SHTF and the grocery stores shelves are empty. Most sheeple will have no clue and will be starving to death as they cluelessly stagger over these and other wild sources of nutrition.

Posted by: Steven - minneapolis
on: 2017-05-30 09:50:19

I've been battling this invasive for decades and happy to put a real name to it. Know your enemy! My hint for what works best for me: when the soil is very damp (usually mid-spring or after heavy rains when it's dried a bit)use a hand held garden fork and slide it along the main stem, wiggle it and partially lever it. Then, remove the fork and slip your bare hand down and start feeling for the main root, like a small carrot (about an inch or two below the surface) Once you find it use the fork again to loosen the soil all around and get deeper so you can pull the root out completely. One main root will send out rhizomes? that pop up up to 6 inches away from the main root get these too, but always that main root! Nothing more satisfying then feeling that root come out of the ground intact.

Posted by: Vivian N - St. Paul
on: 2017-06-07 13:23:03

Round Up is the isopropyl salt of glysophate. It is only mildly toxic. If you were to drink it straight most people would simply get diarrhea. I do not recommend doing do. It is not harmful to your soil or animals. It has no soul activity. It simply stops photosynthesis in plants that are actively growing. You may apply it to any vigorously growing plant. Coat all the leaves Rd as thoroughly as possible. Reapply if that plant goes into an actively growing phase again, which is unlikely. Round up 365 is a particularly robust product for those plants that that don't want to go away. Use it and I think you will be happy with the results.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2017-06-08 14:13:56

I can't vouch for Vivian's marketing pitch, but we do use Round-up, though very, very selectively. It is not a cure-all.

Posted by: C Ramirez - walker
on: 2017-09-09 03:16:35

I Think I know what would work to eradicate this species. But, it would be clearly deemed the nuclear option. Get yourself a goat, They will literally in a very short period of time, have that plant eradicated Let them at it and I promise it will be devoured.A neighbor of mine got some goats and penned them in a horse pasture so they could clear the place for him. and thats exactly what they did. To be honest I think he borrowed them. within a month, the whole area was cleared of everything green. They ate everything, and down to the roots. They even dug down into the earth. So, if you are willing to strike the plate clean to start afresh there's you answer.

on: 2018-06-22 21:17:57

I applied Roundup last summer and those plants died. But a new, even more vigorous crop sprang up this spring, worse than ever, almost as if they liked the Roundup. Sigh.

Posted by: Mary L - Rural Rosemount dakota county
on: 2018-06-24 01:36:19

Great! Now this noxious weed. Along with thistles, grape vine, wild mustard, buckthorn, and that stupid Paulownia tree. I am going to end up with just dirt pretty soon. Smile, laugh, and pull weeds...

Posted by: Teresa - Minnetonka
on: 2018-08-07 09:47:54

I also have been battling with these plants for years. Like lots of you, thought they were pretty at first when they popped up in my perrenial beds. My neighbor warned me to get them out before it was too late! But alas..left them for a season, now am digging them out by hand, and they are winning. Nothing works unless you get that sneaky tuber out. They are everywhere here so even though I am cleaning out one bed at a time I have a feeling I will never win. So, I just keep chasing. Good luck!

Posted by: Julie Ann Wurst - Lannon, Wisconsin
on: 2018-08-11 15:11:04

DEAD HEAD !!!!!!! I love this edible highly nutritious food plant. I've been trying to So sad this plant for a few years. I even took my neighbors to take it off there hands. The plants I have had for about 4 years have not spread and there in the spot I wanted them in. However I DEAD HEAD them to try to have them to continue to blooming but i haven't had luck. A plant stem holds avg 15,ooo seeds. Which means if you don't take the ti.e time to dead head they will spread like crazy !!! Blooming means more to me weighing the pro of spreading cons of longer blooming period. I try to leave a lot of buds on to spread to but like I said I haven't had the luck. We're eating and harvesting a lot of them this year also. If you take the time to dead head either by taking the bud off after the bloom fades or cutting the stem it will slowing die out. Give this advice atry. I've been an advid gardener for 30 + years and have grown these at each house I've owned. I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THESE UNDER CONTROL AT EACH RESIDENCE.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-08-11 20:34:10

Julie Ann Wurst, creeping bellflower does not only reproduce by seed so deadheading alone will not control it. It also spreads by rhizomes and tubers and is infamously difficult to get rid of, since root fragments and the tubers resprout. If you've never personally had a problem then you are one of the few lucky ones. Please don't advocate gardening with plants known to be invasive.

Posted by: Shauni M Mulder - Red Lake falls
on: 2018-08-16 04:18:41

They started taking over my back yard in Mid-Summer. For some reason, I thought they were May Night Sage. I know, I know. They don't even look alike except maybe color. I am glad I decided to recheck. I was so in love with them and their colors, but now I am terrified. They are growing near my other wildflowers and raspberries bushes. They continue to pop up, but don't seen to like the very hot, dry days we've been having in Red Lake Falls. I have also seen them in several yards and shady areas in the town of thief river falls. Creeping is definitely right.

Posted by: Bill Brown - Grant
on: 2019-07-14 11:06:41

I just noticed a few of these on my property yesterday. I didn't know anything about them but was excited to have them because of their attractive flowers. Glad I checked them out. Now to get rid of them, I hope. The site can add Washington Co. to the distribution list.

Posted by: Mary Jane - TexaTonka neighborhood of St. Louis Park.
on: 2019-07-16 10:49:32

Just found these in my backyard, the root system is wrapped around my neighbor's fence posts. Any recommendations on removal in this case?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2019-07-16 11:18:29

Mary Jane, read through the other comments for suggestions.

Posted by: Melinda - Saint Cloud
on: 2019-07-25 13:39:20

They are EVERYWHERE in Saint Cloud this year. I agree, they are quite pretty but now I know the truth. They've completely taken over some neglected flower beds in my neighborhood, so much so that I [mistakenly] thought those beds were being cultivated again. It hasn't invaded my yard yet but I'm sure I'm next.

Posted by: Anita Martin - Afton
on: 2019-07-28 09:22:35

I love them, just have to control a bit.

Posted by: Grace - Minneapolis
on: 2020-04-01 23:07:29

BRECKS SELLS THESE AWFUL THINGS! I couldn't believe it. They were in a recent special sale flyer packet. The description makes them sound like a very desirable flower. These horrid things popped up in my flower bed from who-knows-where many years ago. It is a constant battle to try to get them out of my flowers. For those not familiar with the company, is a long-existing online & catalog bulb & perennial company

Posted by: Chris - duluth
on: 2020-04-28 22:45:49

I have these in my yard, and yes they do spread. I found the easiest way to control them is to eat them. As mentioned in earlier posts, the roots, leaves, young flower shoots and flowers are all edible. It is not hard to eat a patch into a very managed size. The roots and flowers are my favorites. Flowers straight from the plant, and boil the roots in salted water until tender served with a little butter, delicious.

Posted by: Editanlaurel - Inver Grove Hts
on: 2020-05-16 02:14:00

Wow! Didn't know that these are invasive and people trying to get rid of them. I had a lot of them in my old house and they looked so pretty. When the flowers faded ( started from the top), I immediately remove the dead ones and new ones show up. I did this all through the blooming season. You pinch the top and 3 or 4 stems shoot up. After I sold the house, I walked by the old house and saw the new owners let them go to seed, and the whole yard looks so ugly. In my new place I have a few and they are in groups. In spring time, as soon as I notice that they are sprouting all over, I pull the ones out of place and put them in groups. I didn't even realize that they were invasive and considered undesirable in MN. I m glad to know that they're edible; I'll try some tomorrow.

Posted by: John Schmoller - Watertown
on: 2020-07-21 13:49:21

I've found that bellflower's design is discouragement--2-3 weeks after carefully digging up the roots, bellflower returns as if unfazed. In fact, it was fazed--the deep roots seem to come back up closer to the surface, and, if you resist surrendering to despair, you can cause them devastating harm by digging out their roots a second time after their after their hollowly triumphal return.

Posted by: Nancy Jo Austin - Hugo
on: 2020-07-24 23:18:20

It doesn't show on your map, but it is in my mother's yard in Rochester. I haven't had time to dig it, but will certainly do that as soon as possible. Now, what to do about the one coming up between the concrete steps and the concrete driveway!

Posted by: Kim Wright - Richmond
on: 2020-09-04 20:29:39

I tried digging for several years. It doesn't work. :(

Posted by: Ellen - Hennepin County suburbs
on: 2020-09-30 22:32:08

Editanlaurel, removing the flower-heads will NOT control them. They spread from the roots, very rapidly. We always destroy the flowerheads as soon as they bloom, and they're still spreading, even after years of fighting and digging. Dig them up with a spade as soon as possible, or in a few years they'll take over everywhere and it will be too late.

Posted by: Ellen - Hennepin County
on: 2020-09-30 22:47:40

In Minnesota, deliberately spreading this plant is ILLEGAL. Putting it in the compost or garbage is ILLEGAL. Whoever found it at Brecks should report the store to the MNDNR.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-10-01 07:01:31

Ellen, sad to say you are mistaken about it being illegal to deliberately spread this plant. The Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (not the DNR) is responsible for designating noxious weeds in Minnesota and they have not seen fit to do anything about creeping bellflower. The official list is on their website and creeping bellflower is not on it. MDA also tends to ignore anything not on the list regardless of how much of a pest it may be. That's the unfortunate reality.

Posted by: Ellen - Hennepin County
on: 2020-10-02 11:05:20

Yikes. :( I'm sure I saw it on such a list a few years ago. I made a note to self that putting it in compost or garbage is illegal.

Posted by: Lonnie - Ely, zone 3
on: 2021-05-04 10:37:11

This plant is the bane of my existence. Not sure how it came in; but it has spread everywhere. We have roots the size of small carrots and they go deep. There is no way to control, I have spent too many hours to count trying to dig it up....hopeless. If anyone finds a way to eradicate please let me know.

Posted by: Stacey - Canada
on: 2021-06-02 21:37:19

Well, I read through each and every comment on here looking for the magic answer to eradicate this plant. Drat, that magic answer does not exist. My property is an old, former farm property with one of many of it's inhabitants being creeping bell flower. I was that novice gardener that said "oh pretty" and moved it to other flower beds that I created on the property. Yep, I did that. And now I wage war every few years by digging up, bagging the plant/root/rhizome plus attached soil for waste disposal. One root/rhizome that I found was 14 in. long! Unfortunately, I'm also getting rid of many beloved perennials that share the space as the creeping bell flower in attempt to eliminate as much chance of the creeping bell flower from returning. The struggle continues, and seems it will be never ending. Sigh.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2021-06-24 09:27:18

There is a Facebook group dedicated to discussions of creeping bellflower removal and control.

Posted by: Steve Miles - Minneapolis
on: 2021-07-04 09:54:36

This plant has two leaf forms, one heart shape and the other elongated that loses the top indentation as it heads to flower. A reliable way to identify it is to take a deep shovel of it and look for the characteristic turnip colored tubers which run horizontally (not tap roots). These have to be completely removed. The plant must be dug out before flowering. Minnesota calls this invasive. Washington calls it noxious. Washington is, in my opinion right.

Posted by: Susan Premo - St. Paul
on: 2021-11-03 11:44:35

We moved into my grandmother's house in 1978, creeping bellflower has been here before that, I'm sure. I have dug down to the tubers too, it's a real battle. I quit doing it, I pull or cut it back, it's actually not as bad as it used to be, feels like your pulling rubber bands. I also got a cutting from my mother in law of dutchmens pipe, beautiful flower, big mistake, I think it was going to try and take over our neighborhood. My next door neighbor said that I should try round up, I did, but a small amount, it took care of the pipe, but then heard how harmful round up can be, I turned into a disposal site.

Posted by: Diane Barron - Saint Louis
on: 2022-04-28 17:35:28

I just bought this plant and thought I would look it up to find out more about it. I think I will be returning it back to store ASAP ! ! !

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2022-04-28 18:49:00

Diane, it would be useful to know where you purchased it so we can start a campaign to stop them selling it.

Posted by: Susan Gangl - St. Paul
on: 2022-05-11 15:36:35

I'm finding it in spots all over my yard - in the garden, in the lawn...ugh!!

Posted by: Kara M Heupel - Credit River, Scott County
on: 2022-07-05 18:47:41

Found growing in the edges of my woodlands. Will cut flowers now and work on tubers this fall.

Posted by: Rebecca - Saint Cloud
on: 2022-07-31 02:42:37

spotted tons of these on the edge of the sauk river in the regional park. take a walk down the bridge via whitney, head west via the small winding trail and you'll find a bunch flowering right now.

Posted by: Thea Evans - Minneapolis
on: 2022-08-22 12:26:54

Cup plant competes with creeping bellflower very well in my yard. I don't like to dig it out in most places because the soil disturbance provides a handy place for the seeds to germinate. I pull out plants as they start to send up flower stalks and plant lots of robust native plants in my garden. In my well established native areas, it's been reasonably easy to prevent bellflower from getting established by pulling it out from the top whenever I see a plant pop up. The part of my yard that was taken over by bellflower already when I moved in is now taken over by cup plant instead, which is a big improvement! The creeping bellflower does support native bees, including bees that specialize on bellflower pollen, so think about including one of our MN native bellflowers in your garden - Tall American bellflower or Harebells. They can both be found at native plant nurseries.

Posted by: Kelli F - New Brighton
on: 2023-05-17 22:03:53

This weed the Creeping Bellflower Battles FB group has dubbed "hellflower" and should be on all MN invasive lists and every city it's found in should be making people aware of it. Tell your neighbors! I didn't even know until it was too late. It looks beautiful but it's the worst weed I've ever seen. Previous owners were all natural and let weeds run rampant. It's nearly impossible to be rid of. If you have a small patch dig very deep like 1ft down at least with a garden fork. If it's a large patch I'm sorry but you will probably have to resort to chemicals. And multiple applications. For multiple years. Do not let it go to seed. There needs to be way more research on its spreading abilities and how to kill it. And wayyyy more awareness!!

Posted by: L. Ian - Minneapolis
on: 2023-05-30 03:58:11

Kelli F - I completely agree. This plant is among the worst invasives in a urban/suburban setting imo. Like you said, I have only had success eradicating it from areas by digging it completely out - about 8-12 inches down while the soil is moist (not dry or soaked). And then circling back to dig out any roots/root fragments that re-sprouted (sometimes it takes multiple rounds of that). Truly a nightmare. I am trying to selectively cut creeping bellflower and let natives compete with it, but that may be a long process. I have not tried herbicide, but that may be the only solution in certain areas.

Posted by: anna chernakova - Edina
on: 2023-06-01 14:01:29

The bellflower resilience eventually presented me with a question: Is it worth fighting a lost battle? I am in a state of total exhaustion from digging, using the lasagna method, pulling and also covering part of my lawn with ugly and bad for the environment black plastic. And I know for sure the bellflower is winning. I am now hating gardening.

Posted by: Sally - Minneapolis
on: 2023-07-07 20:05:51

Does Dead-Heading make any difference?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-07-08 07:04:05

Sally, this thing spreads vegetatively so deadheading doesn't make a significant difference.

Posted by: Sheila Kelleher - St. Paul
on: 2023-07-16 12:11:56

I call this plant "creeping hellflower". After treating an infestation of c.h. in my boulevard prairie garden and bee lawn with triclopyr and glysophate repeatedly last summer, as recommended by UMN extension, creeping hellflower came back stronger than ever this spring. I'm using clopyralid this summer and it seems to be working so far ($50 for an 8-oz bottle on Amazon, use 2 tablespoons in 2 gallons of water; use with caution; safer for grasses, animals; don't use near water). I finally have more bee lawn than c.h. I have been educating my neighbors and friends ("it's so pretty!") but it's scary to see how much creeping hellflower there is on walks around the neighborhood.

Posted by: Leanne - Hackensack, MN
on: 2023-07-28 14:26:42

These were hundreds growing in my yard. The city lot was covered with these as well.

Posted by: Emily Ryan - North Minneapolis
on: 2023-10-04 10:58:36

I had been letting these grow as the bees love them, sad to learn that they are invasive, as they were misidentified and reported to me (along with some others) as native. They don't seem to like hot and dry so much, so that will help. My goal is to supplant them with more R. triloba to shade them out, in addition to weeding.

Posted by: Sheila Kelleher - St. Paul
on: 2024-05-15 14:03:38

Update from summer of 2023: I still have a lot of creeping bellflower in my bee lawn, but fewer plants than last year, so that's progress. Last summer, I sprayed clopyralid twice and by the third round, many patches had disappeared completely. I noticed that UMN extension now includes clopyralid as a method of treatment: "Clopyralid is the best herbicide for selective post-emergent control. Dicamba is also effective. 2,4-D and quinclorac are ineffective." Unfortunately, my next-door neighbor is letting it grow wild, as well as many others in Macalester/Groveland. Sigh.

Posted by: David Jones - ST PAUL
on: 2024-05-16 11:13:18

Sheila, your journey is similar to mine. I've been trying to control this in my yard for 20 years, first just pulling the plants, then digging, and now finally (and reluctantly) resorting to chemicals. I've also experimented with triclopyr and glysophate over the last 2 years with limited success, and am now trying clopyralid this year. As noted, UMN Extension states that this is most effective, and at least one academic study supports this:

Posted by: I.S - Just west of East Grand Forks
on: 2024-05-29 20:50:43

These have been in our yard since we bought our house in 2018. Didn't know what they were at first; we started to dislike them after they devoured an entire bed next to our driveway and didn't respond to repeated threats or intimidation. After multiple futile rounds of completely picking them flat (we were slightly younger and so naive) we are trying the clopyralid route, because the city forbids repeated applications of napalm.

Posted by: Paige - Austin MN
on: 2024-06-21 11:59:40

Has been growing underneath my hackberries and ash trees for years, crowding out native forest floor plants like Virginia waterleaf and asters. I have been pulling it and throwing it away but it never ceases to grow back.

Posted by: Francis leighton - Long prairie
on: 2024-06-29 12:54:48

Does anyone know if these plants are toxic to goats ? I saw a couple of posts about dogs loving them, and even one person actually eating them. I want to make sure its ok before I feed them to my goats.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen - Lake
on: 2024-06-29 16:44:40

Great prose on flowers. But let's keep it on topic please. No Wisconsin Flowers observations. With peace and love you have been warned. Any posts from Wisconsin will be redirected to, Judy!

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2024-06-29 18:40:54

Dear Concerned Citizen,
Minnesota Wildflowers happily accepts comments from neighboring states and provinces!
The Management

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