Campanulas, or bellflowers to use their common name, are plants with bell-shaped blue or white blooms, and they range in height from ground-hugging dwarfs to plants that grow to 6 feet. A gardener who plants a number of different types can have bloom for most of the summer.
Varieties and Growing Habits
Campanulas need a moderately rich well-drained soil and full or partial sun.
C.persicifolia is the popular blue peach leaf, and the white equivalent is ‘alba'. These are best for humid southern summers.
Cut bellflowers last well in a vase, which is a big asset, as far as I am concerned.
C. ‘Telham Beauty' has three inch lavender blue flowers on 3 foot stalks and mixes well with astilbe, either in a bed or in a vase. It will naturalize in woodland settings in light shade.
The new campanula punctata ‘Cherry Bells' is quite a departure from the older varieties because it has red tubular flowers edged in white so provides an early summer treat for hummingbirds.
An old standby that has stood the test of time is the clustered bellflower C. glomerata, which is hardy zones 3-8 and has upward facing violet bells on 1-2 ft plants. This is a very reliable plant.
The newer gold leaf Adriatic bellflower ‘Dickson's Gold' is a short variety which provides a striking contrast of blue flowers against gold foliage that looks wonderful spilling over walls or used as a groundcover.