Campanula Carpatica

Campanula Carpatica Varieties And Facts

Campanula carpatica is a species of the bellflower, so named as its origin is in the Carpathian Mountains of Europe. It often is called the Carpathian harebell, the Carpathian bellflower or the Tussock bellflower. The flowers tend to grow in small clumps with blue (Blue Clips) or white (White Clips) flowers. There are also varieties featuring violet-blue flowers (Deep Blue Clips), and Light Blue Clips. The flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers are often used in salads while the leaves, though edible when raw, are usually cooked and added to stews.

Culture - Culture for the various varieties of Campanula carpatica is similar. They are best grown in full sun though also will do well in partial shade. For the best results the plants should be mulched, not only to keep the soil moist during the hot summer months, but also to keep the roots cool. Campanula carpatica is an excellent choice as a border flower, but also is a fine addition to a rock garden. Since the clumps tend to spread, though are not invasive, a number of plantings can provide a good ground cover. Individual plants should be placed about a foot apart for this purpose and for growing as border plants as well. They will later merge into a solid cover. If mowed when used as a ground cover, though not too often, the plants readily spring back, and if they already have bloomed will often re bloom. Generally the initial bloom produces the greatest profusion of flowers. Subsequent blooming, which may occur throughout the summer and into the fall, often provide only a sparse collection of blossoms. Dead heading will usually help prolong the blooming period.

Although not a terribly large plant in terms of height (6" to 8"), the flowers, which are upturned forming small cups, blossom at the end of wiry stems and make fine cut flowers. The blossoms are typically between 1 and 2 inches wide.

Dividing And Propagation - The more common varieties are usually propagated by dividing the clumps in the spring. Blue Clips, White Clips, and several other of the named varieties will not always grow true from seed. Whether for purposes of propagation or not, this perennial should be divided every couple of years to keep the plant at its most attractive appearance. This obviously does not hold true when the plant is used as a ground cover.

Campanula carpatica "Blue Clips" flowers have a pleasing blue color, and the "White Clips" variety has blossoms that are virtually pure white. Another popular variety is Campanula carpatica turbinata "Pearl Deep Blue", whose blossoms are a very intense shade of blue. The blossoms of this variety often open completely and form an umbrella shape, as opposed to the usual bell or cup shape. Like the other varieties of Campanula, turbinata is an Alpine flower and prefers somewhat cool conditions. All of the Campanula carpatica varieties do well in most USDA defined growing zones, but do best in Zones 5-8 and even will often perform well in the colder zones. Heat is more of an enemy than is cold.

Pests And Diseases - The Campanula carpatica varieties are for the most part disease and pest resistant, and easy to care for. The greatest danger may come from snails and slugs, who like to feast on the young plants. Crown gall and several types of leaf spot, blight and mildew can sometimes cause problems, and over watering can at times result in root rot. For the most part though, these conditions are seldom present to the extent that they cause significant damage. If the flower garden in general is well tended, the Carpathian Bellflower will be among the best of its citizens. Consider adding a few of this most attractive and interesting plants in next years garden. A single color can be dramatic as a mass planting, blue and white, and even blue-violet, mixed together in a rock garden is another idea.