Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Campanula rotundifolia

Bluebell bellflower, Bluebell of Scotland, Bluebell, Harebell, Witches' thimble

Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)

Campanula rotundifolia (Bluebell bellflower)
Glase, Terry
A delicate perennial with graceful, slender stems, usually in clusters, rising in height from 4-15 in. The stems can be weak so that the entire plant bends over. Its rounded, basal leaves wither early while the narrow, stem leaves remain. Blue-violet bell-shaped flowers hang singly or in clusters along the top parts of nodding, thread-like, mostly unbranched stems that grow in small patches. The nodding, bell-shaped, lavender flowers are borne in loose clusters at stem tips.

The genus name, from the Latin campana (bell), means little bell. The name Harebell may allude to an association with witches, who were believed able to transform themselves into hares, portents of bad luck when they crossed a persons path. In Scotland, another old name for this plant was Witches Thimble. The characteristics of this perennial vary considerably, depending on habitat conditions. Among other common species are the Southern Harebell (C. divaricata), with wider leaves and smaller, white or pale lavender flowers, typical of wet, grassy meadows. The common garden Bellflower (C. rapunculoides), which is native to western Eurasia and frequently escapes from cultivation, has flowers usually borne on one side of the stems and lanceolate or heart-shaped leaves.

Image Gallery:

36 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , ID , IL , IN , IA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OR , PA , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Temperate Eurasia and North America, from Europe east to Siberia and Canada, s. to MD, n. IN, n.e. IA, NE & n. CA; also s. in mts. to TX & northeastern Mex.
Native Habitat: Moist, rocky, mt. slopes; dry meadows & prairies; open woods; limey cliffs; beaches

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Harebell is easily cultured and does well in a variety of sites including rock gardens. Flowers are long lasting.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds

Last Update: 2015-12-14