Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tall Bellflower
Campanulastrum americanum

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Campanulastrum (kam-pan-uh-LAS-trum) (Info)
Species: americanum (a-mer-ih-KAY-num) (Info)

Synonym:Campanula americana
Synonym:Campanula americana var. illinoensis

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Toxicodendron
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There are a total of 11 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive dkm65 On Jul 22, 2012, dkm65 from Cedar Falls, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

Really attractive sparkly blue star flower for shady spots. Does better with moist soil.

To kneff: I strongly suspect the plant you are complaining about eradicating is not the native species, but a similar Eurasian bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides). C. Americana spreads readily from seed, but not runners, while C. rapuculoides is notorious for spreading into surrounding space, including sunny, drier spots that the native doesn't do well in. Rapunculoides' flower is more bell shaped, while americana is more open star shape. So, be sure you aren't damning the wrong plant. It would be a shame if someone passed up this truly beautiful, well-behaved native wildflower on the basis of your mistaking the invasive introduced plant with the native.

Neutral gardengal5 On Oct 7, 2010, gardengal5 from Naperville, IL wrote:

I am planting 2 of these in a shady bed off my deck along with some cardinal flowers.

No rating yet.

Negative ncconley On Aug 14, 2010, ncconley from Memphis, TN wrote:

I bought this plant at a Dixon Garden and Gallery sale - I thought that meant it should do well in this climate. But after the first bloom, which was beautiful, I deadheaded it and the whole plant dried up, stems and all. I want to know if it's caput or might come back.

Positive Raingardenlady On Jul 8, 2008, Raingardenlady from Treynor, IA wrote:

This is an Iowa native plant so I used it in a part - shade rain garden/stormwater infiltration area. The plant has flourished and looks great. I planted it with Showy Goldenrod and put Cardinal Plants in front, It is tall but really looks great at the back of the garden. The color is outstanding, definitly one of the most interesting and true blue Iowa native forbes.

Positive billyporter On Feb 4, 2008, billyporter from Nichols, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I first saw this plant growing on the side of a shady gravel road in the fall. I was struck by it's lavender blue blooms and the fact that it was 4' to 5' tall and not very wide. I broke the top off, brought it home and laid it in the garden. I wasn't very hopeful. Later that fall I saw two separate rosettes. I almost pulled them thinking they were weeds, but something told me to wait. Next spring they grew 4' tall and bloomed. I've had them since 1994 and I love them! I don't do anything special and they grow in almost all conditions. They are best for the back of the bed as they look a little weedy, but keep them close so you can enjoy the detail of the blooms.

Negative kneff On Jul 17, 2007, kneff from Dearborn, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have been trying to eradicate this plant for 30 years. Yes, it is pretty, but it reproduces both by seed and by underground roots, any piece of which will become a new plant. It will grow in sidewalk cracks, pathways, and in the middle of any perennial. Although it is an exact lookalike, It is not the tame "ladybells" (adenophora), from which it can be distinguished by its lack of scent. Redeeming qualities: it will grow in shade or sun, and it makes a great cut flower. Grow at your own risk!

Positive Toxicodendron On Jul 28, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This tall native wildflower is always a welcome sight in late July and August. It grows along streams and wet ditches in the shade of trees, often in the company of the similarly striking Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower). I have not yet attempted to grow it at home, so I don't know much about it's seeding, etc. Identified from Audubon's Field Guide to North American Wildflowers. There is some controversy over the status of this plant; several websites say it is an annual and others say it is a hardy perennial. If anyone has been growing it in their garden and knows for sure, please let me know so I can choose one option or the other. Thanks.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Guntersville, Alabama
Miccosukee Cpo, Florida
Divernon, Illinois
Warren, Indiana
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Nichols, Iowa
Treynor, Iowa
Waterloo, Iowa
Melbourne, Kentucky
Dearborn, Michigan
Erie, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota
Cole Camp, Missouri
Freeman, Missouri
Hudson, New Hampshire
Fayetteville, New York
, Nova Scotia
Corning, Ohio
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Leesburg, Virginia

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