Campanula Species, Tall Bellflower

Campanula americanum

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Campanula (kam-PAN-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: americanum (a-mer-ih-KAY-num) (Info)
Synonym:Campanulastrum americana
Synonym:Campanula acuminata
Synonym:Campanula asteroides
Synonym:Campanula declinata
Synonym:Campanula illinoensis



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Derby, Kansas

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 22, 2015, hillfarm from Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

This one acts as a biennial for me here in Zone 3/4 (central British Columbia). Makes a rosette the first year, then blooms itself to death the second year. I collect seed to re-sow. There are sometimes a few self sown seedlings. Very pretty flowers when examined close up, but too small for much garden impact. Nice in a mixed planting. Reasonably long bloom time. I like it.


On Jul 15, 2015, joeswife from (Debra) Derby, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

Started from seed thrown out in Fall, came up the following spring, it is in part shade and doing well for the past two years, the shady side patch is being moved to the fence since the seed washed forward with rain. beautiful, looks good with cardinal flower and white salvia.
my plant off the patio came back in same location, but it was probably from seed. I have that area tagged, and it is about a foot away from where it was last year. Will see if annual or perennial next spring if the ones I move this fall come back in exact location.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.