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January 2011
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Campanula americana – American Bellflower Tall Bellflower

Campanular Americana which is also known as American bellflower or Tall Bellflower is a tall and slender bellflower. Campanula which means bell shaped and americana which means of the Americas is an herbaceous perennial that is native of eastern coast of the United States. It is an annual and a biennial that can grow up to a height of 30 to 72 inches. The plant is erect, tall and has stout stems with milky sap. The fruit is in form of a capsule. The seeds are small and have trilocular capsules. The seeds are reproduced by rhizome spreading. The leaf is stalked, toothed and thin. The leaves are alternate, sessile, and lance-oblong. The leaves are 17cm long and almost 5cm wide. The margins are short ciliate. The stem is 4-20 inches tall and is little hairy. The stems are hollow, from thick roots and slightly winged to 0.5mm breadth.
It has light blue to violet flowers that are half to one inch wide with 5 petals spreading flat and not like a bell-shape. This plant grows in open woods, borders of woods, wooded stream banks, and thickets. The bloom is usually from June to October. The flowers have a pale center ring and wheel shaped. The flowers are long, curving and protruding. They are stalk less in cluster and form a long terminal spike from the leaf axils. The flowers are almost six inches above the foliage that is dark green in color. The sepals are 1/4-1/2 inch in length and anthers are 1/4-1/2 inch in length.
This plant needs full sun to partial shade. The soil needs well-drained and moist soil. These perennials are used in flower gardens. It can reseed and grow weedy, if not taken care. The seeds of this plant that germinate in winter or autumn act as annuals and those sown in spring act as biennials.

Growing Conditions of Tall bellflower

• This plant needs full sun to partial shade.
• The soil needs well-drained soil.
• The plant needs moist soil.
• Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball.
• Plant or sow them in August-September.
• Stratify the seeds for germination.
• Space the plant from 12-18 inches apart.
• Water well after planting.
• Fertilize the bellflower in spring to promote growth.

Care of Tall Bell flower

• The plant needs moist soil and so do not overwater.
• Fertilize with 10-10-10 fertilizer.
• Remove the weeds around the bellflower plant as they compete with the resources.
• Water evenly.
• Check for reseeding as these bellflowers can grow aggressively.

Photo of this plant (link)

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