It pulls up so easily! but deep underneath is a longish, fat tuber which can apparently be beheaded indefinately, and still stays alive. I haven't gotten rid of it, but have diminished it's influence by beheading several times in the spring, and again in the summer and fall. At home I wouldn't do this, but I'm gardening in a community environmental preservation setting, and in this ancient salt water farm setting, the campanula has probably been successful forever. Certainly longer than me!
The plant I suspect you are referring to (long white underground WHITE tubers & rapidly moving skinny WHITE root threads going EVERYwhere under ground in just one season to make smaller tubers to be bigger tubers the size of sweet potatoes if left more than 2 seasons.)
This EXTREMELY invasive plant, however lovely looking is not related to anything from the Campunula family. Though lovely tall bluish, near lavender bells on spire-type plants & such a look-a-like to Camps, this dainty darling above ground is on top of my list of horrendous invasives as to the giant remove/kill spreading that is going on second by second underground & almost impossible to KILL ALL!
It is called ADENPHORA (hope I spelled that right) and still being sold in many gardening catalogs. Tallish, long blooming time & 2nd babies blooming shorter/from constant making seeds in late Aug./Sept., more light blue to a tad of lavender lovely belles turning to tiny dried balls late July & Aug. w/a zillion seeds to take off around your home w/ breezes, birds who eat the seeds, & will live even in the ditches of almost concrete on the sides of well packed dirt roads.
Ruined an entire raised bed of my salad greens 3 yrs. ago where they had "bird" dropped spread through the entire 4 X 10 ft. bed. That's when I did a little research & found about this beautiful horror. Also gal on Dave's garden who was smart enough in research of putting her first pretty in a pot & start asking questions. And tossed out before producing seeds.
How to kill; I really don't know. I'm totally organic so if popping up in favorite perennial garden at camp, near veggie or Per. plants, I just keep cutting them & inch or so beneath ground level & put dark plastic cut-out circles where they were w/earth staples. Bigger batch (still a tiny few in my veggie garden at camp) in late fall, I pour a gallon of boiling water with a couple of cups of vinager as we close up camp & veggie gardens. Weekend later, dig out all that wet boiled stuff & bag in commercial garbage bag. And spy for every white root I can find, hoping frost kills what's in 2 X 3hole, & each spring, fresh compost & lots of chopped Maple leaves from last fall, plus yrs. old soil all mixed together where we again had another nice Salad Green garden last summer.
Ruth, thanks for listening w/little advise (for sure) to ever, ever get rid Andenphoro but I refuse to use chemicals, Round-Up, etc. for any of my home or camp mega gardens. Boiling water & vinegar goes along way, as do even Off bug Spray when bad plants are just setting seed. (Grin) or just keep cutting down to the ground the min. you see the first pretty bloom for one-day enjoyment, cover toss on the boiling water/cover w/black plastic. They should die on their own as all roots/baby plants need sun to survive.
Sorry again about so much blather, but Adenaphora has been a 5 yr. fight for me... and one more thing that many gardeners might not agree with me is the following: Any living plant that has pure white (like cloroxed clean super laundered white) you do not want anywhere near your garden. From Dandilions, Ajuga, Anemoe, Bishops weed, & all kinds of nasty weed grasses, many more ... pure white roots mean INVASIVE.
God Bless & Good Luck getting rid of your lovely above ground "Lady Bells" one way of the other. (Deep digging helps, but no longer at my age!!)
There are some Campanula species that can be badly behaved in the garden, so in the absence of any pictures of Ruth's plant, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that it could be a Campanula. Also worth pointing out that Campanula and Adenophora are both in the same family (Campanulaceae) so they are closely related to each other.
Ecrane 3: You caught me just as I was budding out. Hmmmm. Did not know camps & adens were related, but should have known as many of both look so much alike above ground. Have you knowlege of the color or action of the roots of both cousins? ? Wow, so glad to have another more knowlegeable gardener to make me think about what monsters of my many diff. color early summer camps may be lurking in home per. gardens; they all get a tiny bit bigger, but from root zone only, not spreading; just limping along at just a tad bigger than each spring before. What makes Adens so horrifical invasive within 2 season, & my sweetly high bush camps spreading an inch a year?
(Can't remember what color roots when purchased years ago!)
and do you have an opinion, or experience with PURE white root plants of all kinds as invasive.
SeaKay from VT. (So special you found Ruth & my chatter this very same night ... thankyou & what can we learn from you?)
Also just want to put my 2cents in. Even if you were Ok with using synthetic chemicals as opposed to natural ones. The herbicides are no match for the tuber below ground. Another approach needs to be found, not that I have one.
The color of the roots doesn't have anything to do with invasiveness, I suspect that's just a coincidence that you've noticed with a couple plants with extra-white roots that happen to be invasive.
Your Campanulas may be just fine...there are quite a few different species, some of them behave perfectly nicely while others can get a bit aggressive. So if yours have been in the ground for a while and are behaving themselves, then they're likely one of the good kinds.
Speaking of Campanulas (and first time visiting this forum) - anyone have any ideas on how to get rid of Campanula rapunculoides? I've tried Roundup and my Bernzomatic but the darned stuff laughs at me. I'm just about resigned to trying to dig it out of my clay unless anyone has any ideas.