Harebell
Delicate and graceful, the purple bell-shaped flowers of this perennial are attractive, but have no noticeable scent. Each plant produces an abundance of flowers. They are also ideal for rock gardens, naturalized areas and containers.
Botanical Name: Campanula rotundifolia
Nom Français: Campanule à feuilles rondes

Features

Bloom colour: Blue | Purple
Blooms: Fall - Zone 5 | Summer - Zone 5
Pollinators: Bees | Butterflies | Other
Sun or Shade: Full Sun | Partial Sun
Plant Type: Perennial
Height: Up to 2 feet (70 cm)
Across Canada
It grows well in hardiness zones: 3-7

This beautiful flower is a perennial that flowers from summer to fall. Some say it spreads quickly, but compared to some other quickly spreading garden plants, it seems rather tame.

Planting

Fields, rocky outcrops, sunny borders
Water requirement: Dry to moderate
Sandy
To plant outdoors by seeds, simply scatter the seeds on top of soil in the late fall. Do not cover with soil. In spring, your seeds will sprout when it becomes warm enough to do so.
To propogate your harebells, it is best to do it in spring after the first shoots of your harebells surface. Using a sharp knife, cut your shoot at the base where it's emerging from its root system. Some roots may be attached to your shoot, which will stimulate growth. Trim lower leave and place in a container in medium to wet soil. Before sowing seeds indoors, a 4 week period of cold-stratification is necessary, To do so, place seeds in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. After 4 weeks, remove seeds and scatter on top of moist soil. Do not cover with soil as they require light to germinate.

Care

Harebells prefer cool summer climates, and typically need regular and even moisture. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. They will spread in the garden by creeping roots. They may be propagated by cuttings, but division of mature plants can be difficult.
There are no known diseases or pests of the harebell.

Pruning

Spread: 15-45cm
Harebells self-sow pretty easily. After seed pods turn green and full, within a couple of days brown seeds will emerge. You can harvest seeds just before they explode out of the pods and keep them in a paper bag to let them ripen. To plant by seeding, simply scatter the seeds on top of soil and sprinkle a small layer of soil on top. You can also divide the plant into 2 using the stems. To do this, remove the leaves at the lower part of the stem and place them in the soil. Cover it with a healthy layer of earth (about 1.5-2"), and keep the top of the plant vertical. New roots will emerge from the stem at which point you can remove them from the original plant.

Considerations

They are pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. The leaves are eaten by some people raw in salads or in smoothies.
Edible | Native to Canada

Styling and Use

Place in moist shaded areas of rock gardens. It is also effective in lightly shaded woodland areas where plants can be left alone to naturalize. It is best to mass them in large groups. They thrive in dry grassy areas, on edges of forests, and rocky, sandy soils along shorelines.
Spiderwort, roses, grasses among others

Other

It goes by a variety of different names including bluebell, bellflower, lady's thimble and dead men's bells. It was used in the manufacture of blue dye for tartans. To some tribes, it was known as "blue rain flower" and it was believed that it would rain if picked.

History

There isn't much recorded on its use by humans, although it is said the Cree used a compress from the roots to speed healing and reduce swelling or bleeding of cuts or abrasions.

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