If you want a plant as lovely as its name, then Serbian bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana) is a must-have addition to your garden. This no-fuss ground cover sprawls easily in a low, mounding habit. Lavender-blue starburst blooms appear in spring, with some repeat blooming until frost if spent flowers are removed. The dense foliage is semi-evergreen to evergreen (depending on the severity of winter in your climate) and will weave its way between spring bulbs, rocks, and other perennials.
Common name: Serbian bellflower
Botanical name: Campanula poscharskyana
Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 4 to 12 inches
• Sun: Full sun to part shade
• Soil: Well-drained
• Moisture: Average to medium
• Mulch: Mulch to preserve moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.
• Pruning: None needed.
• Fertilizer: None needed.
• By seed or by division.
Pests and diseases
• No major insect or disease problems, although snails and slugs may do some damage.
• C. poscharskyana prefers part shade in climates with hot summers. It performs best in areas where evening temperatures are below 70°F.
• C. poscharskyana looks great sprawled along banks or over walls, as well as in rock gardens.
• Be aware that Serbian bellflower is a vigorous grower, and it spreads by underground runners. This is an advantage if you want it to cover a large area, but if you want it to stay in one spot, either contain it with barriers or trim runners as they develop.
All in the family
• The Campanulaceae family (known as the bellflower family) has approximately 2,000 species in 70 genera.
• The family is found almost worldwide; notable exceptions include the Sahara and Antarctica.
Where to buy
• The Country Store and Gardens, Vashon Island, WA, 888-245-6136, www.countrystoreplants.com
• Joy Creek Nursery, Scappoose, OR, 503-543-7474, www.joycreek.com
• Lazy S’s Farm & Nursery, Barboursville, VA, www.lazyssfarm.com
(Text by Elyse Lucas, photo courtesy of Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden)