Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tall Bellflower Flowers

Tall Bellflower is right!

Campanulastrum americanum, (Campanula americana? I guess the taxa was updated.)

This was a simple rosette of leaves last year that was barely four inches tall. I bought a seed pack of them from Prairie Moon Nursery. Of the seedlings I got 6 past the initial germination stage with many of the them dying. I eventually planted the survivors in the front garden, where for unknown reasons, only one of the six grew to be a rather big clump of leaves (like a Forget-Me-Not) while the others never really pushed out anything more after being planted. 

After winter this one surviving plant was the only one to come back. And it quickly started to push up this massive stem which measures just over five feet at the end of June. It's probably not going to get much taller but also I wasn't expecting to be able to see it right out the window.

So the top third of the plant is mostly flower buds, along with a few off shoots and even a second main stem coming up from the roots. This plant should put on a pretty good show. I'm especially looking forward to getting a patch of them established and maybe letting them seed elsewhere in the yard. A plant that grows in dry shade isn't exactly common. 
Their flowers are pretty but smaller than what I'd expected. Online photos had me thinking they'd be something like a daylily or smaller but these are barely an inch long. They're really boarder line what I'd call tiny and medium sized.

I've seen a few sweat bees buzzing about them to collect the pollen but nothing else seems to have working them yet. I'm holding off judgment until I see this thing in full bloom and even then what works them when I have like 5 or 12 plants all in bloom.

This isn't a plant I see a lot of native plant gardeners using, and I think once you get over that first year of establishing from seed, it's easy sailing from there. But I can't speak for subsequent years or if they're self pollinating or not.