Phyteuma nigrum Phyteuma nigrum Phyteuma nigrum

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Spiked Rampion

Phyteuma spicatum

  • Family: Bellflower Family – Campanulaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Rhizomatous.
  • Height: 30–80 cm (12–32 in.). Stem unbranched, glabrous.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic). Corolla lime green or yellowish white, rarely bluish, fused, 5-lobed, approx. 10 mm long. Corolla lobes initially contracted, later expanding from the base. Calyx fused, 5-lobed, lobes usually longer than capsule. Stamens 5. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels, stigmas yellow–yellowish brown, sometimes bluish. Inflorescence initially elliptic, later an elongated, cylindrical, terminal spike, 4–9 cm (1.6–3.6 in.) long.
  • Leaves: Alternate. Basal leaves long-stalked, blade widely cordate, with toothed margin. Stem leaves short-stalked–stalkless, lowest stem leaves cordate-based, middle ones round-based, upper ones blades.
  • Fruit: Spherical, approx. 5 mm (0.2 in.) long capsule.
  • Habitat: Meadows, parks, wasteland. Also ornamental.
  • Flowering time: June–July.

The bellflower family also includes many plants that do not look so typical. Rampions are natives of central Europe that have made their home here and there in Finnish nature. Its flowers are a congested capitulum or a spiked inflorescence. The corolla doesn’t resemble a bell either, even when it’s young, and later its lobes separate from the base. The corolla lobes and their stigmas that poke forwards in the middle give the inflorescence a fun and characteristically ruffled presence. Spiked rampion has been brought to Finland as an ornamental plant, but elsewhere in Europe its juicy root is also used for food.

Black Rampion

Phyteuma nigrum

Apart from spiked rampion, it is also possible to find black rampion growing wild in Finland. Its lowest stem leaves are round-based, the middle ones have tapered bases and the upper ones are almost bladeless. The upper part of the stem is quite leafless. The inflorescence is dark blue/violet, or sometimes bluish.

Other species from the same family

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