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What a nice surprise to have Tall Bellflower show up in my garden!

Campanulastrum americanum Tall Bellflower

Looking for a taller woodland wildflower of a pretty light to darker blue to light up the back garden or woodland edges in mid-summer to early in the fall?  Tall Bellflower might be a good choice for you!

I first learned this plant when it showed up in my garden a few years ago.  Sitting on the patio, my eye was caught by a tall, open flower spike of light lavender-blue flowers.  The flowers are eye-catching on closer view. 

The whole plant can top out at anywhere from two to six feet with the flower spike being anywhere from a quarter to a third of that.  Each flower is about one inch in diameter. Five petals are joined at the base of the corolla which is often white rather than blue.  A single blue-violet style extends down from the flowers center and curls up near its tip lending it a sort of “come hither” character. Flowers offer both nectar and pollen reward to visitors. The flowering period lasts for approximately 6 weeks.

Tall Bellflower is found in woodland habitats where it prefers a more loamy soil, partial sun to light shade and moist to average moisture soils.  It’s presence along woodland paths seems to indicate a preference for some disturbance leading me to believe this wildflower is a good replacement for Dames Rocket if you are looking for color in your woodland, and also for the invasive European Bellflower (Campanula ranunculoides) (Invasive Plant Atlas). 

Bumblebees and leaf-cutting bees are the primary pollinators.  One, the bellflower resin bee (Megachile campanulae), is dependent on this plant for its life cycle. It also attracts sweat bees, yellow-faced bees, butterflies and skippers.

One note:  This wildflower is an annual (sometimes a biennial) but produces many seeds and will reseed readily in good soils.