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Peach-leaved Bellflower

Campanula persicifolia

  • Name also: Peach-leaf Bellflower, Peachleaf Bellflower
  • Family: Bellflower Family – Campanulaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Rootstock short, horizontal.
  • Height: 30–100 cm (12–40 in.). Stem usually unbranched, slightly angular, glabrous.
  • Flower: Corolla widely campanulate (bell-shaped), 5-lobed, 30–50 mm (1.2–2 in.) long, fused, blue or occasionally white. Corolla lobes shorter than broad. Calyx fused, 5-lobed, lobes triangular, sharp-tipped. Stamens 5. Pistil of 3 fused carpels. Inflorescence a 2–10-flowered sparse raceme, flower occasionally solitary.
  • Leaves: Alternate. Basal leaves and lowest stem leaves almost stalkless, narrowly obovate, basal leaves usually withered by flowering time. Stalk narrowly winged. Upper stem leaves stalkless, lanceolate–almost linear. Blade with shallowly rounded teeth (crenate).
  • Fruit: Conical, strongly veined, somewhat hairy, erect, capsule opening from tip.
  • Habitat: Young and broad-leaved forests, forest margins, meadows, banks, rocky outcrops in broad-leaved woods. Also an ornamental.
  • Flowering time: June–August.

Peach-leaved bellflower is one of Finland’s most handsome wild flowers and has been grown as a perennial since the 17th century for its attractive flowers. Pollinators look to large flowers for nectar and pollen, but also shelter from the wind and rain. Peach-leaved bellflower’s most common pollinators are bumblebees, flies and large honey bees.

Although peach-leaved bellflower is bisexual, the stamens and pistil ripen at different times: functionally, they are intitially staminate flowers for several days and then the following days they are pistillate flowers. When the corolla opens the stigma’s lobes are closed, but the stamens’ open flowers attract pollen-eating insects to the flower. Although a large part of the precious pollen ends up being eaten by the pollinating insect, some always leaves with it to travel to another plant. The pistil’s stigmas only mature when insects have collected all the pollen from the flower. At the same time the stamens’ basal disc tears five holes in the nectar-producing cells: peach-leaved bellflower once more rings the dinner bell for guests to arrive – carrying pollen from other flowers. The sole purpose of this complicated arrangement is to help the plants cross-pollinate.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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