Flowers are not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of bells. This, however, is not so with a gardener. They will typically equate anything said in everyday conversation with what is blooming in their gardens.
This is due to the fact that most gardeners live and breath every aspect of what goes on in their beautiful gardens. New and different blooms will add interest to your garden space.

A group of friends conversing about the unique architecture of historical cathedrals in Scotland will, more than likely, bring images of Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens) to the mind of a gardener. Not the bells in a stone tower but rather the blue blooms of the vine in their garden.

Talk of the hectic Christmas season will, no doubt, lead the gardener to dream of spring and early summer when the Christmas Bells (Sandersonia aurantiaca) will be blooming. Reading a book containing a story of heartbreak or listening to polical reports on the news about liberals, may lead one to think of the Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis). Thinking of having a chocolate bar or slice of raison bread? Thoughts of the Chocolate Vine/Raisin Vine (Akebia quinata) come to mind.

Bell shaped flowers are some of my favorites. They appear to me as if they will chime at any moment. While searching out bell shaped, (Campanulate), blooms for my own flower bed, I discovered there to be far more than I could grow. All sorts of plants can have bell shaped flowers. They can be found on huge trees, vines, bushes, perennials, annuals, wild flowers and tiny bulbs.

Below, I have compiled a list of bell shaped blooms. They are worth checking out. Adding silent bells will only enhance your garden. For those of you creating fairy and gnome gardens, bell shaped blooms are a must have. The list is meant to be more of a ‘jumping off' place than a complete list of all bell shaped blooms. I hope you find it useful in your own search for the perfect bellflower.

Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium) Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium)
Biennial for zones 4-10 Height 2-3 ft.
Blooms late spring to early summer in pink, blue, purple, and white. Well worth the wait.
Photo by 'ladygardener1'

EuropeanLilyOfTheValley(Convallaria majalis)European Lily Of The Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Perennial for zones 4-8 Height 6-12 in.
Mid spring to early summer blooms in pink and white.
Photo by 'wallaby1'

English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
Bulbs for zones 4-9 Height:6-12 in.
Blooms pink, medium blue, white/near white in mid to late spring.
*Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
Photo by 'KMAC'

CanterburyBellspink (Campanula medium)Pink CanterburyBells (Campanula medium)
Biennial for zones 4-10 Height 2-3 ft.
Blooms late spring to early summer in pink, blue, purple, and white. Well worth the wait.
Photo by 'Weezingreens'

Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)
Tree for zones 5-9 Height: 30-40 ft.
White blooms appear from mid spring to early summer.
*Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Pollen may cause allergic reaction. Handling plant may cause skin irritation.
Photo by 'Wingnut'

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
Perennial for zones 2-9 Height 2-3 ft.
Red, pink and white blooms in late spring and early summer.
Blue-green foliage.
*All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Photo by 'bsimpson1972'

Chilean Lantern Tree Chilean Lantern Tree (Crinodendron patagua)
Evergreen tree for zones 9-10 (Try in a sheltered area in zone 8) Height: 20-30 ft. in Chili, where it is native.
White blooms appear in late spring and early summer.(fragrant)
Photo by 'bootandall'

Carolina Silver Bell (Halesia tetraptera)Carolina Silver Bell (Halesia tetraptera)
Tree for zones 5-9 Height:30-40 ft.
White Blooms in Late Spring and Early Summer
Photo by 'growin'

Chinese Lantern Lily (Sandersonia aurantiaca)Chinese Lantern Lily (Sandersonia aurantiaca)
Vine for zones 9-10 Height 2-3 ft.
Orange blooms in late spring to mid summer
*All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Photo by 'spur'

Orange Bells (Tecoma 'X Smithii')Orange Bells (Tecoma 'X Smithii')
Evergreen shrub for zones 9-10 Height 8-10 ft.
Bright yellow/orange blooms from late spring through winter.
*Drought tolerant once established.
Photo by 'rollingourd'

Smith's Fairy Bells (Disporum smithii)Smith's Fairy Bells (Disporum smithii)
Perennial for zones 4-8 Height 2-3 ft.
White/near white blooms in mid spring to mid summer.
Likes sun-full shade.
Photo by 'GardenGuyKin'

Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus)Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus)
Tree for zones 5-9 Height:20-30 ft.
White Blooms in Late Spring and Early Summer
'Photo by 'tillady'

Spotted Bellflower (Campanula punctata) Spotted Bellflower (Campanula punctata)
Perennial for zones 4-9 Height 1 - 1 1/2 ft.
Blooms are rose/mauve or white/near white in late spring to mid summer.
*May be a noxious weed or invasive
Photo by 'echoes'

Mission Bells (Fritillaria lanceolata)Mission Bells (Fritillaria lanceolata)
Perennial (bulb) for zones 5-10 Height 6-12in.
Purple-brown blooms in late winter-early spring.
Photo by 'Chuck'

Yellow Mandarin (Disporum lanuginosum)Yellow Mandarin (Disporum lanuginosum)
Perennial for zones 5-8 Height 1 1/2-2 ft.
Chartreuse blooms in mid spring.
Likes a bit of shade.
Photo by 'DiOhio'

Ladybells (Adenophora confusa)Ladybells (Adenophora confusa)
Perennial for zones 3-8 Height 2-3 ft.
Purple blooms in late spring to early summer.
*Can be invasive if seeds are allowed to drop.
Photo by 'poppysue'

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)
Evergreen shrub for zones 4-8. Height 4-6 ft.
White blooms in late winter and early spring.
*Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
Photo by 'CaptMicha'

Yellow Fairy Wings (Epimedium x versicolor)Yellow Fairy Wings (Epimedium x versicolor)
Perennial for zones 5-9 Height 12-18 in.
Bright yellow blooms in mid spring
Photo by 'Toxicodendron'

Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora)
Evergreen succulent for zones 9-11
Red blooms throughout the year.
Good container plant.
Photo by 'dale_a_gardener'

Yellow Wax Bells (Kirengeshoma palmata)Yellow Wax Bells (Kirengeshoma palmata)
Perennial for shade in zones 5-8 Height 2-3 ft.
Pale yellow blooms in late summer/early fall.
*Does not like to dry out.
Photo by 'growin'

Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris)Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
Evergreen shrub for zones 4-9 Height: 2-3 ft.
White/Near White blooms mid summer to early winter
Photo by 'Equilibrium'

Yellow Mountain Avens (Dryas drummondii)Yellow Mountain Avens (Dryas drummondii )
Evergreen groundcover for zones 2-7 Height 6 in.
Bright yellow blooms in late spring to early summer.
*Drought tolerant once established
Photo by 'kennedyh'

Autumn Snowflake (Acis autumnalis)Autumn Snowflake (Acis autumnalis)
Bulbs for zones 7-9 Height: under 6 in.
White/Near White blooms in late summer-early fall
Look best planted in drifts.
*Parts of plant may be poisonous if ingested.
Photo by 'Howard_C'

Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
Shrub for zones 6-9 Height 4-6 ft.
Fuchsia blooms mid summer through mid fall. Blooms are very colorful including deep purple and red purple shades
Photo by 'stevenova'

Mountain Andromeda (Pieris floribunda)Mountain Andromeda (Pieris floribunda)
Evergreen shrub for zones 4-8 Height:4-6 ft.
White blooms in mid spring
*Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Photo by 'hczone6'

Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae)Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae)
Evergreen vine for zones 10-11 Height 10-12 ft.
Red and white blooms in late spring and early summer
Photo by 'Rozilynn'

If you are interested in a more in-depth explanation of flower structure, LariAnn Garner's articles,
Botany for Gardeners - The Basics of Blooms and Botany for Gardeners - More Blooms: Simple to Complex, are perfect 'first reads'. Speaking of blooms, she says in her article, More Blooms: Simple to Complex, "As gardeners, we all know that flowers are not all the same. In fact, the diversity in bloom structures is mind-boggling at best." She goes on to explain why this is, in terms easily understood by the average backyard gardener.

Finally, for one of the most well known bell flower plants,
the Brugmansia, also known as Angel Bells and Angel Trumpets


x candida pink

Brugmansia x candida
single white


Photos by 'Vee8ch'

For more on Brugmansia plants, consider a visit to the Brug
forum on Dave's Garden. You will find it here.

Happy Gardening~

All photos are from Dave's Garden members including thumbnail photo, Crown Imperial Fritillaria (Fritillaria imperialis) by member Galanthophile .
To find more information on the plants depicted here, go to Plant Files.

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on July 28, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)