arhs Yachts International
arhs Yachts International

Campanula chamissonis

By Roslyn Duffus

There are so many campanulas or bellflowers that I am sure that all gardeners have at least a few in their flower beds. You may even have some that are trying to take over your gardens. This little sweety is not going to run rampant on you and does not appear to set copious quantities of seed as some of the others do. In fact, the only way I have been able to spread it around has been by division.

Campanula chamissonis (syn. C. pilosa, C. dasyantha) is a neat little crevice plant for the rock garden. The leaves are mid green and grow not much more than 2-4 inches high. The bell-shaped flowers are held facing up on short, stiff stems just above the foliage and are maybe one inch long on my plants. They are a light purple with a white throat and some white streaking on the petals. Mine flower in mid to late June. I got them originally from Phyl Donnelly, so it may be one of the named hybrids. It has flowered every year although some years much better than others. It seems to grow best where it is confined in a crevice of stone or concrete bricks in soil that is composed of approximately one third each of loam, leaf mould and grit. It has full sun and a little late afternoon shade, is very well drained but is not allowed to become parched. Sometimes I give it a little light feeding of compost or leaf mould scratched into the rather gritty soil. An occasional light feeding with liquid fertilizer would probably be okay too after it has been in place for a few years.

Campanula chamissonis is a delightful little plant for the rock garden or trough but may be a little too vigorous to trust in a trough with other more precious slow growing alpines. It looks lovely smothered in bloom and may treat you to some modest late summer reblooming.