Campanula for Cut Flowers

The peach-leaved bell-flower, as Campanula persicifolia is frequently called, is among the very best plants for grouping or using as individual specimens. Flowering as they do in June, the plants make admirable companions for other perennials such as lupins, pyrethrums, oriental poppies and irises, which flower at the same time. These form a real colour display without appearing gaudy.

As to varieties, `Telham Beauty’ has large, expanded bells of light lavender-blue. It has been given an award of merit, as has the double white, ‘Fleur de Neige’. These were followed by such sorts as ‘Beech-wood’, mid-blue; ‘Pride of Exmouth’, double blue; `Moerheim’, semi-double white; ‘Wirral Belle’, violet-blue, and the single white, ‘Snowdrift’. Campanulas do not travel well, for the flowers will soon bruise.

Campanula persicifolia

There is only one way to keep these sorts true, and that is to propagate vegetatively. In any case, I have found that to maintain the vitality of the stock, it is essential to lift and divide the plants every 2 or 3 years.

Campanula lactiflora is also a fine, tall border perennial, usually growing 5 ft or more in height. Each plant produces many large spikes, making an impressive sight, the pale blue flowers often being 1 in. in diameter. The flowering time extends from the end of May until August, especially if the plants are grown in good soil, in an open, sunny position, where they are not exposed.

Propagation is by division, or better still by cuttings secured in the spring; seedlings vary considerably in habit and colour.

C. krifidia produces spikes of 3-4 ft, and has rather large leaves, the more or less bell-shaped blue flowers being of pendant habit. There are several forms, including white and purple. Latifolia has the advantage of growing well in the shade, and since the roots of this species are bigger than many of the others, it is best to propagate by securing cuttings in the autumn.

The so-called chimney Bell-flower, Campanula pyramidalis, does not always come through the winter unscathed. It grows well in sheltered gardens and in warm districts and can be used to advantage as a pot plant. There are blue and white forms, growing up to 4-5 ft high, and they are easily raised from seed. Cleanliness in cultivation and fairly frequent change of ground usually ensures healthy stock.

Planting is done either in the spring or autumn, and young outer portions can be secured from healthy specimens to maintain a stock of free-flowering plants.

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