An annual plant, less often biennial, light-loving. Delicate flowers of the spreading bellflower nectar strongly and long time, therefore they are eagerly visited by bees. Wild, basal form seeds.
€5,75 – €38,00
Polish name: spreading bellflower
Latin Name: Campanula patula L.
Family: bellflowers Campanulaceae
Status in Poland: common, native
The spreading bellflower usually lives as an annual or biennial plant, but it can also be a perennial. The roots are delicate, fusiform, creamy white. The cross-section and texture of the stem change strongly from the base towards the flowers: quadrangulate at the base and slightly ciliated, at the top it becomes circular and completely bare.
The leaves, like many other bellflower leaves, of three types: the first are the lower ones, with a distinct petiole, usually crenate and spatulate, the second sessile (without petioles), oblong, and the third bract (from the angles of which the inflorescence grows) or lanceolate, linear.
Dark pink or bluish-purple flowers, hanging on long stalks, with one pistil fused from three carpels, and five stamens. They are characterized by a five-sepaled calyx with subulate, entire-margined, or slightly serrated lobes at the base; and a spreading, widely funnel-shaped corolla, blue lilac or pink lilac, with darker veins. They are gathered in a very scattered inflorescence in the form of a panicle, more scattered than in related bells (hence the name). On sunny days, the flowers of spreading bellflower protrude upwards, while at night, and on foggy, or rainy days, they droop.
The fruit in the form of upright capsules open on sunny days with three lobes at the top and close when it rains. The spreading bellflower seeds are inconspicuous and shiny.
It is best to sow the spreading bellflower in bright places or in light partial shade, in fresh, moderately moist and moderately fertile soil.
It is not particularly picky about the ground, it will grow both on dry, light sands and on heavy, very fertile clay soils.
Forms growing only in the eastern Carpathians (Bieszczady, Czarnohora), with runners more numerous than lowland, typical forms of the spreading bellflower, at least biennial, are distinguished in Poland and Ukraine as a individual species: Campanula abietina. German botanists describe the spreading bellflower more generally, so they assign to mountain forms only the rank of varieties or subspecies.
This plant secures itself the possibility of self-pollination – in the last stage of flower development, the stigmas of the pistil elongate in a spiral shape, touching the hairs on the petals where there may still be pollen.
Honey bees and solitaries with a wider spectrum of food plants are the main pollinators of this bellflower. Like other representatives of the genus Campanula the spreading bellflower is eagerly visited because it nectarizes strongly, and long time.