1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Campanula

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CAMPANULA (Bell-flower), in botany, a genus of plants containing about 230 species, found in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, chiefly in the Mediterranean region. The name is taken from the bell-shaped flower. The plants are perennial, rarely annual or biennial, herbs with spikes or racemes of white, blue or lilac flowers. Several are native in Britain; Campanula rotundifolia is the harebell (q.v.) or Scotch bluebell, a common plant on pastures and heaths,—the delicate slender stem bears one or a few drooping bell-shaped flowers; C. Rapunculus, rampion or ramps, is a larger plant with a panicle of broadly campanulate red-purple or blue flowers, and occurs on gravelly roadsides and hedgebanks, but is rare. It is cultivated, but not extensively, for its fleshy roots, which are used, either boiled or raw, as salad. Many of the species are grown in gardens for their elegant flowers; the dwarf forms are excellent for pot culture, rockeries or fronts of borders. C. Medium, Canterbury bell, with large blue, purple and white flowers, is a favourite and handsome biennial, of which there are numerous varieties. C. persicifolia, a perennial with more open flowers, is also a well-known border plant, with numerous forms, including white and blue-flowered and single and double. C. glomerata, which has sessile flowers crowded in heads on the stems and branches, found native in Britain in chalky and dry pastures, is known in numerous varieties as a border plant. C. pyramidalis, with numerous flowers forming a tall pyramidal inflorescence, is a handsome species. There are also a number of alpine species suitable for rockeries, such as C. alpina, caucasica, caespitosa and others. The plants are easily cultivated. The perennials are propagated by dividing the roots or by young cuttings in spring, or by seeds.