CAMPANULA ISOPHYLLA (Italian bellflower, star of Italy)

2 deg C/36 deg F

There are about 300 campanula species. but this is the only one popular as a houseplant. although it is certainly a very old favourite. In mild areas, it may be hardy outdoors, so is a good choice for cold rooms, hallways and porches. It is a trailing plant, and suitable for hanging-pots or baskets, or pots raised to give room for the stems to cascade over. The foliage is small and dainty and the plants become smothered with lovely starry flowers from summer to autumn. There is a blue form, which is most favoured, and a white one. The form named ‘Mayii’ with variegated foliage is rather more hairy than normal. Very

often, plants will sport to form shoots with cream-variegated foliage. These can be cut off and rooted to form new plants with an entirely variegated appearance. However, these sports are sometimes less vigorous, slower growing, and have smaller flowers.

Campanula isopliylla should be given an airy, bright position, watered freely in summer but sparingly in winter. The stems are brittle and care should be taken in moving plants, since large pieces can easily be broken off. To extend the flowering time to the maximum, try to remove flowers as they pass over so that the buds still to open do not become covered with decaying remains. Plants are easily propagated by division when new growth begins, or from cuttings.

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