For Whom the Bell Tolls July 08, 2007
Here is a roadside flower that was easy to note at 40 mile an hour. Yes, I brake for wildflowers and this one was well worth backing up for the photo op!
Standing at a statuesque 5 foot tall it is not hard to garner attention with these star-shaped blue flowers. A member of the vast and varied family Campanulaceae, this Tall Bellflower, Campanula americana has to be the great grand-daddy of them all. Campana is Latin for "little bell" and although this flower is not bell-shaped, most definitely are.
Many home gardeners are familiar with the little Hairbells, and Creeping Bellflowers and Peach-leaved Bellflowers sold in garden centers. I could collect them all. Actually, at one time I did!
It really begs the question, "Why haven't I seen this one in the stores?" I do not know, but it would be one of the first on my list at a native plant nursery. The only possible reason would be it is to good to be true. People may not believe that a flower this large and this gorgeous is a native plant that requires very little care. In fact, I would hazard to say it would thrive on benign neglect. :)
If I could only find some at the local market, I would plant it at home and start ignoring it today! So many Campanulas, so little time.