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Creeping bellflower

Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Herbaceous perennial that is 1-3’ tall. The stems are smooth to slightly hairy and contain a milky liquid.

Overview

Regulated areas of creeping bellflower
Creeping bellflower is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: European bellflower, rampion bellflower, rampion harebell
  • Scientific names: C. rhomboidalis, C. rapunculoides var ucranica, C. cordifolia

Ecological threat:

  • Invades fields, stream banks, woodlands, prairies, roadsides, urban areas, and oak savannas.
  • Introduced as an ornamental, creeping bellflower escaped gardens and is now found throughout Wisconsin.
  • Creates monoculture stands through seed production and rhizomes.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for creeping bellflower was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves: Alternate with downward pointing hairs on the underside. Basal leaves are heart-shaped and 1-3” long with long petioles while upper leaves are narrow and lance-shaped and little to no petiole. Leaves are slightly serrate, rough on both sides, and reduced to bracts in inflorescence.

Flowers: Blue-purple in color, 5-lobed and bell-shaped. Inflorescence is an unbranched, one-sided raceme that is more than half the length of the plant with one nodding flower in each leaf axil. Blooms from the bottom up during June-October.

Fruits & seeds: Each flower produces 50-150 seeds.

Roots: Rhizomatic with numerous, thick, vertical roots.

Similar species: Bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia; native) is a smaller plant, 4-20” tall and has similar blue flowers that are shorter and are on thin stems. Leaves are stalked with the lower leaves being oval and falling off as the plant matures.

Distribution

Known county distribution of creeping bellflower
Counties in WI where creeping bellflower has been reported (as of June 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have creeping bellflower in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical: Dig at least 6” deep and several inches out from the plant to ensure you have gotten all of the roots. Repeated pulling or mowing in a growing season will weaken the plant but will not kill it.

Chemical: Apply a glyphosate solution using foliar spray or wicking method. If not wanting to damage grass, herbicides with dicamba as the active ingredient can be applied.

For more information on control techniques, visit the Creeping bellflower factsheet [exit DNR] by University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Photos

View creeping bellflower pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:

Links for More Information

Last revised: Wednesday June 05 2013